By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – To slow the spread of coronavirus in the Bahamas, the government there has banned some major airlines from serving the island which has left local private air charter services, such as Makers Air, busy filling the void.

“We only carry so many passengers, so as opposed to American, which would have a hundred or so on an aircraft, I think it is keeping the Bahamas tourism industry trickling, but not a complete halt,” said Sarah Swainson, who is in charge of Business Development at Makers Air.

The Bahamas is a place where you can social distance all you want with plenty of fresh air.

Air charter operators like Makers Air can get you there, whether for business or pleasure, as South Florida charter outfits are almost the only game in town.

“We have a lot of homeowners, second homeowners who just felt like they wanted to go and be socially distant in a most desirable location,” said Swainson.

The cost for a round trip flight on a scheduled Makers Air charter from Fort Lauderdale to Staniel Cay is about $400.

Business has been brisk at many of the local air charter companies as family’s charter flights to travel together and avoid contact with anyone else.

“To be able to hop on, be in a villa, hop on a private boat to be able to enjoy those sand bars, a wonderful way to get out there in this new world we are living in,” said Swainson. “Our cargo service has never stopped even when passengers were not excited to travel. We were still sending out supplies to the out islands directly what they needed.”

Those supplies can be everything from food stuffs to a bilge pump for a boat owner stranded in the Bahamas.

For Makers Air, cargo is almost as important as people.

“Our delivery bay, our cargo bay and our freight department are definitely a major part of the heartbeat of Makers Air.”

Before flying into the Bahamas, you need a negative COVID test 10 days or less prior to arrival, and visitors must quarantine for 14 days once they arrive at their hotel or destination.

Click here for more information about traveling to the Bahamas.

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