Tropic Ocean Airways announced Thursday it is opening a hub in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The South Florida-based airline specializing in charter flights now has one plane and a two-pilot crew stationed in San Juan; it plans to bring as many as six planes on the Caribbean island in the next year and a half.
“Having an aircraft in San Juan creates connectivity,” said Tropic CEO Rob Ceravolo. “San Juan has recovered extremely well since the hurricane. There’s a real resurgence, tourism is exploding. Basing there is a logical place for us to enter the Caribbean.”
Tropic’s expansion to the Caribbean has been in the works for a few years, Ceravolo said. Though the company launched the San Juan hub with just one aircraft at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, it is training a local maintenance crew to enable its expansion.
Carla Campos, executive director of Puerto Rico’s tourism agency, said the new operation “strengthens the positioning of our Island as the connector of the Caribbean region and has the potential to increase passenger movement and creation of new jobs in the short and long term.”
Tropic’s business focuses on private charter flights, scheduled trips, and cargo services. The company’s 13 Cessna Grand Caravan EX planes are amphibious, meaning they can land on water and land, and carry just eight passengers. The company has hubs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and New York City.