St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines will begin new daily flights between the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and Vieques starting Jan. 12, the company announced Wednesday.
The new schedule expands the carrier’s local presence, as it will complement the service it offers from the Isla Grande airport in San Juan. The expansion comes as the company nears its 20th year of business and its 10th serving Puerto Rico.
“Seaborne has always been dedicated to meeting the traveling needs of the USVI and PR communities,” said Seaborne Airlines president Omer ErSelcuk. “On the 10th anniversary of Seaborne service in Puerto Rico, we felt the time was right to provide our guests with the route and airport, [LMM], that they have been asking us to serve for years.”
The expansion in air access between the neighboring islands represents a step forward in the region’s economic development, and further strengthens Puerto Rico’s place as a Caribbean hub.
“One of the strategies for the development of air access is to increase the flights offered between the islands of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, which strengthens our position as a hub in the Caribbean,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José R. Pérez-Riera in a statement issued Wednesday.
Additional flights to these islands, especially Vieques and Culebra, are key to their economic development.
“Certainly the increase of Seaborne Airlines flights will bring a positive economic impact to the islands of Puerto Rico,” said former Tourism chief Jamie López, who is now the EDC’s principal officer of development for Puerto Rico.
Seaborne’s expansion comes several months after W hotel in Vieques struck an agreement to charter a daily flight to transport passengers between LMM and the island municipality.