Seaborne Airlines, the regional carrier based in St. Croix, announced Monday its plans to expand flight frequency and capacity between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for Spring 2013 and beyond.
Starting February 2013, Seaborne plans to introduce new equipment to the USVI on select flights — the 34-seat Saab turboprop — to both the Cyril King International Airport (CEKA) in St. Thomas and Henry Rohlsen International Airport (HERA) in St. Croix from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. The Saab operates with two pilots, a flight attendant, in-flight service and a lavatory.
Effective April 1, 2013 more flights will be added between CEKA and HERA with a 17-seat Twin Otter aircraft. Combined with existing Twin Otter Seaplane service between the bases in Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, Seaborne plans to operate 300 weekly flights with more than 10,000 seats into and out of the USVI – becoming the Virgin Islands’ largest carrier in terms of capacity, the company confirmed.
This new capacity to and from LMM, as well as continued seaplane equipment upgrades, have been made possible by the expanded business partnership between Seaborne and the USVI’s Government Employee Retirement System (GERS), said Seaborne Airlines President Gary Foss.
“As we move forward with this historic expansion – we want to thank GERS and the government of the USVI for their support and confidence in the Seaborne business model and growth plan,” he said. We also want to thank our customers who have supported us for [more than] 17 years. As one of the largest private employers in the USVI, we understand the importance transportation plays.”
“In concert with the GERS investment that makes possible additional capacity with larger aircraft, we will enhance tourism and commerce, while adding more jobs in the USVI as we move forward through 2013,” he added.