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25 Easiest Islands To Get To In the Caribbean

In this article, we shall discuss the 25 easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. To skip our detailed analysis of the global aviation and aerospace industry in 2024, go directly and see 10 Easiest Islands To Get To In the Caribbean.

As per numerous accounts, the rebound of the global aviation industry post the COVID-19 pandemic was not as impressive as was initially projected, with travelers complaining of exhaustive queues, delayed flights, and lost bags owing to severe labor shortages within the entire aviation ecosystem. As of November 2023 however, the aviation industry has regained much of its lost glory, with average operational profitability of the airline sector (EBIT) expected to recover to 2.8% by the end of the year, and net profits rising north of 1.2% to $9.8 billion. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), operating profits are expected to reach $22.4 billion by January 2024, with total revenues expected to grow 9.7% year-on-year to $803 billion as of November 2023. This is the first time that the industry will post revenues north of $800 billion since the offset of the pandemic. According to the Director General of the IATA Willie Walsh:

“Airline financial performance in 2023 is beating expectations. Stronger profitability is supported by several positive developments. China lifted COVID-19 restrictions earlier in the year than anticipated. Cargo revenues remain above pre-pandemic levels even though volumes have not. And, on the cost side, there is some relief. Jet fuel prices, although still high, have moderated over the first half of the year. Economic uncertainties have not dampened the desire to travel, even as ticket prices absorbed elevated fuel costs. After deep COVID-19 losses, even a net profit margin of 1.2% is something to celebrate! But with airlines just making $2.25 per passenger on average, repairing damaged balance sheets and providing investors with sustainable returns on their capital will continue to be a challenge for many airlines.”

Global Aviation in 2024: Challenges and Trends

Before the onset of the pandemic in 2019, the aviation value chain tended to generate an annual financial loss of more than $5 billion between 2012 to 2019, according to McKinsey. This was primarily due to the fact that airlines were considered to be the weakest link in the aviation value chain, consistently leaking losses of more than $18 billion annually on average. The sub-par performance of airlines was usually attributed to certain entrenched challenges like low entry barriers, high exit barriers, sensitivity to external turbulence, the fragmented outlook of the industry at large, and an incredibly concentrated supplier terrain. This complicated atmosphere led to an uneven distribution of profits across the value chain, even with respect to some of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean.  These losses only exacerbated during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, as airlines lost more than $279 billion in two years of global lockdowns and flight suspensions. However, the industry was kept afloat by the air cargo segment where supply-demand imbalances directly led to unprecedented value creation. Some of the most prominent players in the aviation industry are American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON). To read more on the aviation industry, check out our coverage of the 15 Most Luxurious Airlines in the World.

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According to Forbes, there are certain key trends which are likely to drive the continued rebound of the global aviation industry in 2024, the first being the facilitation of frictionless travel through the integration and implementation of biometric mechanisms. Some of the top players within the industry have ramped up investments in fingerprint and facial recognition technology, with much of it being tested in areas such as check-in, security lounge access, and boarding. According to multiple Reddit threads, exhaustive queues for security checks or at the baggage carousel continue to be one of the most popularly cited pain points for travelers. Furthermore, the frequent need to produce passports, identification documents, and boarding passes multiple times during the process is a further addition to the frustrations of the passengers. Hence, aviation companies are increasingly opting for biometric solutions to address these issues and streamline processes for an optimized travel experience. As of November 2023, the TSA has already unveiled plans to install fingerprint identification mechanisms across thirty airports in the United States to better facilitate passengers. In many of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean, similar actions have taken place to better facilitate passengers for a seamless travel experience.

Additionally, top aviation companies like American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) are increasing investments in the development of gen AI to humanize and customize experiences for travelers, especially in some of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. The market for artificial intelligence within the aviation industry is expected to be valued at $2.2 billion by 2025. Although different use cases for AI integration into the aviation space are still taking shape, one of the most obvious uses for AI is with chatbots. The resultant sophistication boost for chatbots can aid in resolving consumer queries much more efficiently. Companies can also make use of advanced AI to timestamp much of the hardware that goes into the plane. This can result in enhanced safety, more effective inspections, optimized inventories, and an improved operational efficiency. This is likely to be complemented by another prevalent trend which is the increased integration of advance robotics in the aviation industry. Automation of workflows is a great antidote to the labor pool shortages currently afflicting the aviation sector post the pandemic. Robotics and automation can also aid in the streamlining of operational processes. 

Improving Airline Retailing: An Analysis

According to a report by McKinsey, airline retailing could value up to $40 billion by 2030. Since payments make for an important link between the consumer and the airline, they constitute an indispensable component of retailing. The report outlines that each year, more than 3 billion airline booking payment transactions are conducted across the world, generating more than $1 trillion. And despite the fact that these transactions make up for important value creation, they also result in more than $20 billion in payment costs which accounts for nearly three percent of the industry's cumulative revenue. Much of this can be attributed to the increased use of credit cards by consumers, especially in many of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean.

Different intermediaries consisting of booking platforms and digital travel agencies have realized that payments present enormous potential for differentiation, with larger players like American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:AAL), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) ramping up investments in fintech solutions in order to streamline the end-to-end payment trajectory. As airlines rise to the value in airline retailing, they have begun to make a strategic retreat to improve payments in order to restrict disintermediation. Experts within the aviation industry have realized that retailing may lead to a $14 billion opportunity through the strategic management of payments. Moreover, an additional $2 billion in value rests upon the timely reduction of payment cost, especially for B2B transactions and corporate sales. In the face of shifting consumer expectations, the popularity of credit cards, the emergence of innovative point-of-sale devices, governmental support and incentivization, and evolution of the payment value chain, companies have begun to unlock unprecedented revenue opportunities in many of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. To read more on trends affecting the aviation industry in 2024, check out our article on the 20 Most Popular Airlines in the World.

Best Airline Stocks To Buy According To Wall Street Analysts
Best Airline Stocks To Buy According To Wall Street Analysts

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Our Methodology

To compile our list of the 25 easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean, we decided to undertake a consensus-based approach using a diverse variety of credible sources to determine some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Out of the 700 islands located in the Caribbean, we used our consensus-based approach to shortlist 100 islands which appeared most frequently during our research as the most visited locations in the region. Since accessibility is incredibly multifaceted and complex to quantify, we established a three-pronged criteria to measure the accessibility of each island; the criteria is premised on the flight availability at each island (20 points), flight frequency to and from each island (15 points), and airport infrastructure at each island (10 points). For flight-related information, we used data from a variety of different sources (1, 2, 3, 4). We then proceeded to award each island a cumulative score according to the aforementioned criteria and selected 25 islands which scored the highest points. Subsequently, we ranked each entry based on the total points scored, from lowest to highest. Where there was a tie, we broke it based on flight availability at each island.

Many of the locations which appear in our list of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean also featured during our coverage of the 15 Best Places to Retire in the Caribbean. 

25 Easiest Islands To Get To In the Caribbean

25. Curaçao

Total Score: 12

Curaçao is a popular destination for divers. In addition to that, it is home to various attractions including the inlet Kenepa Beach and Curaçao Underwater Marine Park. Curaçao has one international airport, which has direct flights to a total of 24 destinations in 14 different countries. 

24. Martinique

Total Score: 13

Martinique is known to be a combination of French and West Indian culture and traditions. It has a total of 83 attractions, including various black sand beaches. The airport in Martinique is known to have an ideal location and a seamless aviation infrastructure that encourages tourists to visit the island, making Martinique one of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. 

23. Trinidad and Tobago 

Total Score: 13

Trinidad and Tobago is home to around 107 attractions and activities, including wildlife reserves and horseback riding. The major mode of public transportation in Trinidad and Tobago is the bus system, which allows the tourists to travel to their desired destination conveniently.

22. Montserrat

Total Score: 14

Montserrat is one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean. It offers a multitude of attractions and activities to visitors, including numerous active volcanoes and beaches. There are multiple flights that operate regularly to and from the airport, making it easy for tourists to visit the island.

21. Guadeloupe

Total Score: 16

Botanical gardens of Deshaies and the coral reefs of Pointes des Chateaux are some of the main tourist attractions in Guadeloupe. The international airport in Guadeloupe is known for its extensive and modern infrastructure, which successfully facilitates its tourists, making Guadeloupe one of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. 

20. Anguilla 

Total Score: 16

With 24 tourist attractions, Anguilla welcomed more than 72,000 tourists in 2022. One of its most popular sites is the Shoal Bay. The transportation infrastructure in Anguilla includes taxis and rental cars, which makes it convenient for tourists to travel to and from the airport.

19. Grenada 

Total Score: 18

Grenada has a total of three airports, one of which is an international airport. The Maurice Bishop International Airport offers direct flights to and from the island from major airlines including Delta, Air Canada, and British Airways.

18. Dominican Republic 

Total Score: 20

Being a few hours away from New York City, the Dominican Republic is one of the most accessible and affordable islands in the Caribbean. The island is known to have large and well-built airports. One of the airports, the Punta Cana International Airport, includes seven boarding gates and seven air bridges, making the Dominican Republic one of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. 

17. Haiti 

Total Score: 22

Haiti is one of the most prominent Caribbean islands in the world, primarily because of its various historic and scenic attractions. Haiti has two main international airports and welcomes direct flights from many airlines including JetBlue, Air Canada, and Air France. 

16. Bermuda  

Total Score: 25

Bermuda offers various attractions to its tourists, including the Crystal and Fantasy Caves, Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse, and Royal Naval Dockyard. The transportation infrastructure in Bermuda is extremely efficient as it offers its visitors public buses and taxis to and from the airport.

15. Puerto Rico 

Total Score: 26

Puerto Rico is one of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. The island is home to 348 attractions including the Spanish colonial district and rainforests’ ziplining parks. Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is the largest airport on the island and facilitates more than 21,000 passengers in and out of the island per day. 

14. Cuba 

Total Score: 28

With 259 tourist attractions, Cuba is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean. The island is well-known for its scenery, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife. The public transport system in Cuba includes bici-taxis and rental cars, making it convenient for tourists to travel to and from the airport.

13. St. Martin

Total Score: 29

The culture in St. Martin is a combination of French and Dutch traditions, which allows tourists to experience diversity. St. Martin has a total of two airports, one of which is called the Princess Juliana International Airport. The international airport receives multiple direct flights from different parts of the world. 

12. Antigua and Barbuda 

Total Score: 31

The Stingray City, Valley Church Beach, and Galley Bay Beach are just some of the tourist attractions in Antigua and Barbuda. The V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua is one of the most well-equipped airports in the world, offering a variety of advantages to its visitors, including an executive lounge and a fast track service. 

11. St. Kitts and Nevis 

Total Score: 31

St. Kitts and Nevis are known as sister-islands and have a total of around 71 tourist attractions. One of the largest airports in the island is Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, which welcomes numerous connecting and direct flights daily. St. Kitts and Nevis is number 11 on our list of the easiest islands to get to in the Caribbean. 

 

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Disclosure: None. 25 Easiest Islands To Get To In the Caribbean is originally published on Insider Monkey.