Stretching from mountain slope to the turquoise waters of St. Jean Bay, the 650-meter tarmac of Rémy de Haenen Airport is considered one of the most spectacular landings in the world. Only accessible by smaller planes, the concrete strip — tucked between lush hills speckled with red-roofed villas — is a welcome mat to island exclusivity.
Thirteen months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the Caribbean, resorts, shops, and restaurants across St. Barth are reopening their doors to welcome visitors back to paradise (with Le Guanahani, located on a nature preserve, slated for completion in late 2019). Along with newly designed infrastructure, accommodations, and amenities across the Leeward Islands, the region’s airports are nearly back to full operation. If you’re headed our way this fall or winter, it’s simple to arrange air travel for a smooth flight to St. Barth and back again.
Photo credit: Tradewind Aviation
One option is to fly a major US or Canadian airline into San Juan, Puerto Rico, before taking a scheduled shuttle or private charter with Tradewind Aviation. If you’re coming from Europe, depart from London Gatwick for Antigua on a Virgin Atlantic flight, or use Tradewind’s interline connection with British Airways, which lets you book just one reservation for both airlines to reach St. Barth.
Built for comfort and ease, Tradewind Aviation operates their own dedicated fleet of modern, turbo-powered Pilatus PC-12 aircraft complete with two pilots, air-conditioning, and complimentary snacks and wine. Providing seamless transfer, the private airline service offers first-class island hopping without double processing through customs. And even if trips appear to be sold out, Tradewind Aviation has the resources to provide additional unscheduled flights on demand.
Photo credit: Tradewind Aviation
Another option is to land at St. Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport before taking a short connection flight the rest of the way to St. Barth. From the US, arrive on St. Martin via a major carrier like American Airlines, United, Delta, or Jet Blue — or from Europe, via Air France or KLM. Those coming in from South America can use Copa Airlines.
Because St. Martin received the brunt of last fall’s storms, its airport was taken out of commission by flooding and wind. Princess Juliana Airport has now retained 73 percent of its prior flights, and with its renovated ground floor main terminal debuting in November, that number is expected to keep rising.
Photo credit: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY
American Airlines, for example, adds a daily nonstop flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on November 4, and another from Miami becomes available on December 19. United Airlines also adds a daily flight December 19 from Newark Liberty International Airport, and Delta Airlines launches their own routes on December 20 from Atlanta and New York City. For St. Barth’s upcoming high season, KLM will offer three direct flights from Amsterdam per week, and Air France will offer direct flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport five days per week.
After landing at Princess Juliana, board a 15-minute connection into St. Barth’s Rémy de Haenen Airport, which is open from sunrise to sunset. The quick transfer can be arranged on a Twin Otter with WINAIR, a trusted Caribbean airline serving the region since 1961, or on a Grand Caravan with St. Barth Commuter.
Photo credit: St. Barth Commuter
No matter which path you take to get here, prepare to be acquainted (or reacquainted) with St. Barth’s enchanting scenery, world-class shopping, and renowned French cuisine. While some features of the island have undergone updates in the wake of the storm, its casual-chic ambiance is as alluring as ever.
As our rebuilding process continues with steadfast spirit, Le Guanahani is on track for its grand reopening in late 2019. Whether you’ve been here before or are exploring our slice of paradise for the first time, we look forward to creating truly unforgettable experiences for you at Le Guanahani.
Featured photo credit: Tradewind Aviation