San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Part 135 operator M&N Aviation, a sister company of St Croix, US Virgin Islands-based independent FBO Bohlke International Airways, has recently added a Cessna Grand Caravan to its fleet.
The nine passenger aircraft is based in San Juan and will be utilised for relief missions and passenger flights, as well as for medical airlift. It will primarily travel between Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.
The aircraft is a 2002 model that was refurbished in 2021.
The two companies have also launched a Caribbean empty leg website, showing one way flight deals between the US and the Caribbean. Between them they have nine aircraft offering private air charter services within the Caribbean and North, Central and South America.
An aircraft that needs to be repositioned creates a unique opportunity for private air charter to be discounted for other travellers; pricing is typically 30-50 per cent less than a standard charter quote, and departure and arrival locations can be flexible depending on proximity and timing. In the past, an empty leg flight from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale in a Citation V has cost $10,000, from Bogota to San Juan in a Gulfstream G150 $18,000, and from St Maarten to St Croix in a Citation V only $3,500.
Users can sign up to receive weekly email alerts, and opportunities are posted on both Bohlke’s and M&N Aviation’s social media pages.
Bohlke is also planning to open a new FBO facility on St Croix this summer. The original FBO was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and it has been operating out of a temporary space since then. The new facility will have a pilot lounge, flight planning room, sleeping room, increased hangar space, luxury passenger lounge and concierge services, as well as many sustainability features.