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At a glance
SVG Air is a private charter airline based in the south-eastern Caribbean, flying in and out of St Vincent and the Grenadines. It has a number of different services. First, as you might expect from the name (SVG stands for St Vincent and the Grenadines), it offers charters to the Grenadines, linking the chain of small islands to the main hubs in the region. This is often Barbados, but it can equally be St Lucia or Grenada and the company is happy to charter as far afield as Puerto Rico and Venezuela. In addition they also offer what are known as 'shared charters’ from Barbados to Bequia, Canouan, Union Island and Carriacou in the Grenadines. These flights do not appear on scheduled international airline computer systems, but they fly regularly each day to meet long-haul connections. Thirdly, SVG Air makes the scheduled run between Grenada and Carriacou three or four times daily and on to Union Island. Fourth it offers Grenadines air ambulance services. Finally, they do offer sightseeing on request, but given that many of the flights hop along the Grenadine chain anyway, you may well have been treated to a fantastic view of the islands already.
- Best for:
- Shared and Private charter, Scheduled flights, Airborne sightseeing, Island hopping, Air ambulance
Mustique, Bequia, Union Island, Canouan from St Vincent and Barbados; Canouan, Bequia and St Vincent from St Lucia (Hewanorra) operated on a daily scheduled shared charter but also available as private charter service; Carriacou and Union island
Private Charter, Shared Charters, Scheduled Flights, Sightseeing, Emergency Medical Services
SVG Air is based in the ‘mainland’ of St Vincent, at the main airport at Arnos Vale. It is headed up by Paul Gravel, a Canadian who has lived in the Grenadines since the mid 1980s. The company has around 30 pilots in a total staff of 80. Staff members you might come across include Mike Arthur, a former Cathay Pacific pilot now the chief pilot on jet, and the redoubtable Bernadette in Reservations, who has 25 years of aviation experience. Working in the background is Greg Clark, formerly of BWIA, the chief maintenance officer.
The airline has around a dozen aircraft that vary in size from five to nineteen seats. These include two jets, a seven-seater Citation 550 and a Cessan Citation J3. Other aircraft include the Cessna 402 (seven passengers), the Cessna 402B (six seats), the Aero Commander 500S (five seats), an eight-seater Islander and two nineteen-seater Twin Otter Vistaliners (with extra large windows for the view). The variety of their fleet means that they can be very flexible, and if they do not have what you need, they are also happy to bring larger aircraft in.
Finally, it is not only people that SVG Air flies around the area. They have been known to get some unexpected requests for transportation. They have flown to Martinique to collect asparagus for a very smart dinner and Donald Trump’s dog was once transported for medical attention. Of course there have been a fair few celebrities too, including Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates, Tony Blair and the President of Brazil.