The World’s shortest international flight: Anguilla (AXA) to Sint Maarten (SXM)

Stunning views of turquoise water from the plane

We took the world’s shortest scheduled flight between two different countries. In fact, even a third country is flown over on the trip. It goes from the UK over France to the Netherlands in just eight minutes! In the process, you cross a turquoise, calm sea and enjoy the sun. We’re talking about the flight between the Caribbean islands of Anguilla and Sint Maarten. We booked this special ride and now tell you all about it.

Departure from tiny Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, Anguilla (AXA)

Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is a very small, unpretentious airport. We were the only passengers at the time of departure. If you take off from here, you don’t have to be there long beforehand.

For most island visitors, it will be the other way around: You land at the major Princess Juliana International Airport on Sint Marteen (SXM). From there, guests can either take the shortest flight or a ferry or charter boat to Anguilla. However, we only flew in this direction.

The short flight between the Caribbean islands

On the world’s shortest scheduled international flight, you’ll only be in the air for about 8 minutes. The planes are small, so it will be cozy. The trip departs from Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) in Anguilla to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in Sint Maarten.

Because Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory, and the island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin has been divided into Dutch and French territory, it is a flight between countries.

The cost is about $100 per person. By the way, taking a charter boat or a ferry is not much cheaper. Because then you have to add a cab ride to or from the airport, as well as a tax. The airline in charge is Anguilla Air Services and it employs only five pilots.

Anguialla Air Services considers itself a shuttle to the surrounding airports: Their schedules are adapted to the large passenger aircraft. On request, you can also book a private flight, even as a scenic tour. The airline also offers medical transports. So the guests and residents are well taken care of here.

With this or other airlines you can also get from Anguilla to St. Thomas, Antigua, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Tortola, St. Kitts and St. Eustatius. Recently, you can even reach Miami.

A dreamlike caribbean view

Let’s get back to our flight. We travelled in the model Britten Norman Islander. In the small machine you can enjoy a beautiful view over the islands, their bays and the Caribbean Sea.

The landing on Sint Maarten is a tourist attraction itself: the airstrip is only separated by a fence and a few meters from the world-famous Maho Beach.

Tourists gather here to get up close to the low-flying machines. It is not without danger! Many have already been injured by the strong air drafts, one woman even lost her life. However, with a little caution, you can take truly surreal photos and videos.

Why you should take this short flight

After we landed at SXM, the pilot personally took us to the connecting flight. The service is unbeatable and this flight is more than just a means of transportation. It’s a fun, unique experience and a sightseeing trip in itself. An absolute must-do. For me, the best flight I’ve had the pleasure of taking. Even without first class seats, this trip feels private and exclusive.

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