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Tradewind Aviation

Pilatus PC-12

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Tradewind reintroduces Rhode Island shuttle service
In addition to Nantucket and Newport, Tradewind's scheduled shuttle routes throughout the US northeast have expanded to include New York to Martha's Vineyard and Stowe, with Newport the latest route to be added.
The company has found favour with PC-12s.

Tradewind Aviation, an Oxford, Connecticut-based regional air mobility provider, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a scheduled shuttle service to Newport, Rhode Island, signalling the return of the popular Anguilla shuttle service and a giveaway valued at $20,000. In celebration of two decades as a family owned and operated business, Tradewind is giving away one round trip private charter to reunite family with loved ones they haven't been able to see because of the pandemic. The sweepstakes will be live on Tradewind's Instagram next month.

Launched in 2001 by brothers Eric and David Zipkin, both experienced pilots and passionate entrepreneurs, Tradewind was founded on the principle that every flight deserves the highest quality aircraft, crew, and service.

In 2002, the company launched one of the first shared charter concepts in the industry, with scheduled shuttle service between private terminals at Westchester Country airport in White Plains, New York, Teterboro and Nantucket Memorial airport in Massachusetts. Two years later, with demand growing for weekend commuters travelling to their vacation homes, Tradewind began operating its first Pilatus PC-12, an advanced and capable eight-passenger turboprop.

In addition to Nantucket, Tradewind's scheduled shuttle routes throughout the US northeast have expanded to include New York to Martha's Vineyard and Stowe, with Newport the latest route to be added to the company's schedule from July 2021. Tradewind's shuttle flights to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard represent approximately 80 per cent of the market, making Tradewind the single largest operator of non-commercial shared charter flights in the region.

Since launching 20 years ago with a single Cessna Grand Caravan, Tradewind now operates a fleet of over twenty premium aircraft. Tradewind's fleet includes 18 Pilatus PC-12s, the largest fleet of this aircraft dedicated to private charter in North America, and three Citation CJ3s that are recognised as best-in-class light jets for medium range private charter flights. The company is expecting delivery of two new Pilatus PC-12 NG aircraft this autumn and is monitoring the electric vehicle market closely as its routes and infrastructure are poised for the first viable electric aircraft.

“From the start, we have been a part of the evolution of private aviation from a luxury to a utility, and we will continue to innovate as our market grows,” says Eric Zipkin, co-founder and president. “It's exciting to look back at our two decades of innovation in private aviation, and we're looking forward to launching several new domestic and Caribbean routes in the fall.”

Since 2006, when Tradewind began operations in San Juan, Puerto Rico to provide a seamless private charter service throughout the Caribbean and new scheduled flights to St. Barth, Tradewind has been the leading aviation company in the destination. Tradewind's scheduled and private charter flights to St. Barth represent over 60 per cent of clients staying at five-star properties and luxury villas on the island, and the company has launched a series of fully private travel experiences with these leading luxury hotels and villas to ensure safe, secure, and stress-free travel.

Tradewind's destinations throughout the Caribbean have grown, with scheduled shuttle flights now available to Antigua and St. Thomas. This winter, Tradewind's popular Anguilla shuttle service will return. In 2017, Tradewind launched interline partnerships with British Airways and United, and in 2019 with American Airlines, offering conveniences including single ticket purchase and baggage transfers to destinations in the region.

In 2018, the airline launched the Goodspeed Card, the first jet card programme based around the Pilatus PC-12 and in 2020, with health, safety and the environment in mind, Tradewind launched a carbon offset programme offering clients the opportunity to offset the carbon emission of their flight activity, as well as a private shuttle concept, enabling passengers to book an entire scheduled flight for their party only. Tradewind has seen an 86 percent increase in Goodspeed Card hours purchased in comparison to pre-pandemic travel, driven by the inherent health and safety benefits of flying private along with a steep increase in new charter clients. Goodspeed Card members save up to 18% on private charter versus one-off trips and up to 40% when compared to similar charter card programmes. Members also save three to six hours of travel time compared to flying on a commercial airline.

Since its beginnings, the Tradewind team has expanded from five employees to 180, and the company has transported 500,000 passengers across North America and the Caribbean with a 90 percent yield in returning customers. While initial clientele consisted of mostly weekend commuters travelling to their vacation homes, Tradewind's customer base has expanded to catering to business travel, special occasions, sporting events, Caribbean vacations and destination weddings. Today, Tradewind's business is split 50/50 between scheduled shuttle flights and private charter, and the company has seen a 30 percent increase in new private charter clients as more people discover private charter and Tradewind for the first time.

“For 20 years, our family-owned business has provided travellers an efficient and cost-effective way to access anywhere, from major cities to top leisure destinations throughout North America and the Caribbean, saving hours on road travel. With pre-boarding lounge access, priority security and a swift onboarding and deplaning experience, passengers can travel comfortably and efficiently at very competitive fares. We're excited to celebrate our 20 years in business with this incredible giveaway,” notes David Zipkin, co-founder and VP.

Tradewind has maintained a strong safety record with no accidents or incidents in 20 years, membership in the aviation risk and assessment company Wyvern, and an ARGUS Charter Operator rating, demonstrating its adherence to an internationally recognised standard of the highest level of quality in aviation.

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