Legends of Aviation #4: Lyndon Gardiner.
The last quarter of a century has seen the establishment and rapid expansion of many airlines around the world. The main international media focus tends to be on the massive growth of certain low cost airlines in Europe and the developing world, which are ordering jets by the dozen. But an equally impressive story is found in the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands, where the principal airline in the region, Inter Caribbean Airlines, has been operating since 1991.
The company was started by its present chairman, Lyndon Gardiner, who, whilst working for a local bank, took a loan from his employer to purchase an aircraft in order to visit his girlfriend at weekends. He later started an informal air taxi service that became InterIsland Airways, flying visitors around the islands during the day and some Medevac flights at night. He had a genuine love of flying, but also realised it could be lucrative, so he gave up his job at the bank.
Within a few years, Lyndon had acquired additional aircraft and was running a fully-fledged charter service. He then set about growing the airline and establishing many other associated businesses. By 2004, he had gained widespread recognition for his efforts and was named Businessman of the Year.
In 2013 after operating for 10 years as Air Turks & Caicos, the company was re-branded as InterCaribbean Airways to embrace new opportunities across the Caribbean. The airline operates an expanding fleet of EMB-120 and DHC-6 aircraft and Lyndon’s businesses now also encompass, fuel supply, ground handling, line maintenance and real estate. He has also established a very impressive FBO facility which has welcomed leading political figures and film and pop stars who visit the islands. Further expansion is planned – more aircraft and more routes as he further establishes InterCaribbean as a major regional airline.
Lyndon with his friends, David and Todd from Brookfield
Lyndon is a major celebrity in Turks and Caicos. I recently had the privilege of spending a couple of days with him in Providenciales. He clearly loves his people and wherever he goes, people know him, and embrace or shake his hand. He seems to know everybody as well, and gives freely of his busy time to speak to all. He is a legend not only in the Caribbean aviation industry, but throughout his native country. We are very proud of our association with Lyndon and his airline and look forward to continued success for InterCaribbean.