Anguilla’s Wallblake Airport over the holiday season continued to show quiet resilience, creating confident optimism with the arrival of private jets attributing to the increase in U.S. visitor arrivals, an indication that the challenging economic environment may have given way to pent-up demand and cautiously optimistic economic news.
Fixed-based operator, Lloyds Aviation, announced one of their busiest days to date (January 2), handling some 37 jets including Gulfstreams 4s and 5s, Falcon 900s, Citations, Lear Jets, Challengers, Hawkers, Astras, Embraer 135s, Global Expresses and Galaxies.
The activity began in late December and continued through the first half of January with celebrity and VIP passengers staying at the signature luxury resorts and renowned super villas that dot the island.
Anguilla Air Services and Trans Anguilla continue to offer daily inter-island connections while Anguilla Air Express offers executive charter flights via San Juan, Puerto Rico.
This news is encouraging but not surprising because the Anguilla Tourist Board reports that October through December, preliminary arrivals were up by 15 percent from the U.S.
“If you look at visitor arrivals over the last quarter of 2009, on a month-by-month basis, the number of visitors from the United States increased and we expect that trend is going to be maintained," said Anguilla Tourist Board’s Director for North America, Marie Walker in a written statement. "We are buoyant about the increase in arrivals and this is particularly heartening given the economic environment. Our flourishing relationship with industry partners contributed to this result.”
The comments were made at the U.S.-based Anguilla Tourist Board’s annual marketing meeting that was held with the island’s key suppliers to outline marketing plans for 2010.