Seaborne Airlines, a regional airline based in St. Croix in the U.S.Virgin Islands (USVI), plans to increase capacity to and from the USVI from early 2013 by introducing larger aircraft and adding more flights.
Starting in February, Seaborne Airlines will introduce 34-seat Saab 340 turboprops on select flights to Cyril E. King Airport (IATA code STT) on St. Thomas and Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) on St. Croix from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Saab Aircraft manufactured 459 SF340 regional turboprops of all variants between 1983 and 1999, when production of the 34-seat SF340 (which became known simply as the Saab 340) ended. The final civil version produced was the Saab 340Bplus, of which 100 were built
The Saab 340 operates with two pilots and a flight attendant and features in-flight service and a lavatory, according to Seaborne Airlines.
From April 1, the carrier will add more flights will be added between St. Thomas’ Cyril King International Airport and St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, with 17-seat de Havilland Canada Twin Otter turboprops.
Combined with its existing Twin Otter seaplane service between the Charlotte Amalie Harbor Seaplane Base (SPB) on St. Thomas and the Christiansted Harbor Seaplane Base (SSB) on St. Croix, Seaborne plans to operate 300 weekly flights totaling more than 10,000 seats into and out of the USVI – becoming the Virgin Islands’ largest carrier in terms of capacity.
USVI travelers will also have access to Seaborne’s premium lounge at San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. The lounge offers comfortable seating, work areas, charging stations, light refreshments, Wi-Fi access, and DirectTV television programming.Christiansted, St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines operates a fleet of de Havilland Canada Twin Otters on routes among the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and between the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Some of Seaborne Airlines’ Twin Otters have been converted to Vistaliners (like the aircraft pictured here) and operate from conventional runways, while others are fitted with floats and operate as seaplanes from the seaplane bases at Christiansted on St. Croix and Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas
Additionally, corporate Seaborne customers have access to FasTrak SJU security access, which allows travelers to go to the head of the TSA line.
The new capacity to and from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, and continued seaplane equipment upgrades, have been made possible by the expanded business partnership between Seaborne and the Government Employee Retirement System (GERS) of the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Gary Foss, Seaborne Airlines’ president.
Seaborne Airlines operates more than 350 weekly departures linking San Juan, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Vieques and – starting in December – Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Operating for 17 years in the Caribbean, Seaborne has carried more than 2 million customers since 1995.
Offering both seaplane and airport air shuttle operations, Seaborne operates its aircraft with two pilots under US FAR Part 121 flight rules.
Flights can be reserved at www.seaborneairlines.com or calling 866-359-8784.