Bahamas Is Top Destination For Treasure Coast Airlines

A small Florida airline is beginning weekly service to the Bahamas this month, with chartered flights to these islands making up 80 per cent of its itinerary, its director of operations said yesterday.

Danny Krachun told Tribune Business that after 16 years of servicing passengers in the areas between major hubs, Fort Lauderdale International and Orlando International Airport, the airline has decided to make the Bahamas a scheduled trip three days per week.

Starting on January 15, Treasure Coast Airlines will fly to Marsh Harbour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

According to Mr Krachun, there has been an overwhelming response to the announcement of weekly flights to the Bahamas, with more than 300 calls in only a few days despite minimal publicity.

He said most of the passengers Treasure Coast receives are individuals with second homes in the Abacos. And with weekly flights aboard the company's Navajo Cheiftans aircraft, the $285 ticket price is on par with that of other airlines that frequent the island.

Mr Krachun said the company hopes to turn the flights around and have Bahamians use the service to commute to Stuart in St Lucie County, where the airline's base is.


He added that passengers from across the country use Treasure Coast as the final leg of their flight to the Bahamas, preferring its relative privacy over larger commercial flights, such as American Eagle.

However, the allure for Stuart residents and St Lucie County residents in genera, is avoiding the almost two-hour drive to Fort Lauderdale Airport in order to commute to Marsh Harbour. And, according to Mr Krachun, they have been extremely receptive to the new flights schedule.

Treasure Coast traditionally runs only charter flights to the islands, which became a popular destination for the airline over its 16-year history.

According to Mr Krachun, they hope to expand their flight offering into Treasure Cay in the near future.

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has attempted to encourage more private airlines to fly to the Bahamas, and has successfully drawn several new carriers to this nation this year alone.

The Government has promised to deliver more airlift to this country, but the shrunken global economy, which is responsible for wearing down the tourism sector, is not expected to return until 2012, and therefore the number of stopover visitors enjoyed pre-recession not expected to recover until then.

Source: The Tribune