The serene, mountainous charm of tiny Saba. The spectacular hiking and endless hospitality of Statia. The boating fantasies of Tortola.
They’re some of the most sought after little destinations in the Caribbean, but they’re not exactly the easiest to get to.
But JetBlue just made it a whole lot easier to reach them.
In what is a major boost for a number of smaller destinations around the Caribbean, New York-based JetBlue has signed an interline agreement with regional airline Winair.
The interline agreement means travelers can book one itinerary that covers flights to major destinations and the connecting service to smaller airports in the region, and check their bag directly through to their final destination.
“Customers utilizing this interline agreement will benefit from the ability to check their luggage to their final destination before boarding their JetBlue flight, and they can then proceed directly to their departure gate for their connecting flight with WINAIR,” JetBlue said in a statement.
Winair connections to JetBlue flight can now be booked through travel agents, the company said. JetBlue has not yet announced when the service will be available on JetBlue.com.
As part of the agreement, travelers can now connect on a JetBlue flight to seven different Winair destinations, including Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, Tortola, Statia, Saba, St Kitts and St Barth (of course, the best way to get to St Barth is still flying through San Juan and connecting on Tradewind Aviation).
The agreement covers flights through St Maarten to all seven destinations, along with flights through Aruba to Curacao and through Antigua and Barbuda to St Kitts.
That means, for example, that a traveler can book a flight from New York directly to tiny Saba through St Maarten, all on one itinerary.
“The interline agreement between WINAIR and JetBlue demonstrates the confidence and vision both airlines share in St. Maarten and the surrounding region, and will provide growth for PJIAE and the region,” said Michael Cleaver, President and CEO of WINAIR.
It’s a particular boost for Winair’s core island-hopping stops near St Maarten: destinations like Statia, Saba, both of which have some of the smallest commercial runways on earth and can’t receive nonstop international traffic.
And it removes much of the hassle of changing airlines within the Caribbean, never an easy feat.