June 25, 2003 – Seaborne Airlines has expanded inter-island service again effective this week, adding two round-trip flights a day between St. Croix and St. Thomas.
That brings the daily schedule between Christiansted and Charlotte Amalie to "17 flights each way every day except Fridays, when there will be 19," Omer ErSelcuk, Seaborne's chief marketing officer, said. Additionally, he noted, there are two round-trip flights between Frederiksted and Charlotte Amalie each day.
That adds up to 135 round trips per week between the two islands, 14 of them serving Frederiksted, where service was inaugurated in mid-May.
The additional flights "will help us better address supply with demand," ErSelcuk said.
Meantime, in order to carry out annual maintenance inspections of all of the seaplanes, Seaborne has temporarily suspended a few flights, he said. These "were the ones we normally added for Friday, Saturday and Sunday — and sometimes when demand warranted it during the week," he said. "When we add back flights after the completion of the maintenance checks, average flights per week will increase to 300-plus," or more than 150 round trips.
"Because June is maintenance month at Seaborne, we individually remove aircraft from service for a longer period of time than normal to conduct in-depth inspections at our Christiansted maintenance facility," ErSelcuk said. "As each aircraft is taken out of rotation, we have less flexibility to add to our normal schedule when demand warrants it on busy days like Friday. We are aware that over the past few weeks, some of our customers are not getting the flights they want, and we apologize for the inconvenience."
The annual inspections should be completed "by early to mid July, allowing us to add flights on busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons," he said. "When these flights are added, including Frederiksted, we'll have more flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix than ever before."
What's more, he said, Seaborne will "get additional capacity early this fall when we expect to add new aircraft" to the fleet.
According to ErSelcuk, Seaborne has been pleased by the response so far to the service connecting Frederiksted with St. Thomas. "Loads have averaged around 70 percent," he said. And, he added, when the airline adds service in the fall, it will "most likely" include a third, mid-day trip to and from Frederiksted.
Seaborne, one of the world's largest seaplane airlines, carries more than 100,000 passengers annually. Locally owned and operated, the company employs more than 100 persons in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and offers more than 50 flights a day serving Christiansted, Frederiksted, Charlotte Amalie and Old San Juan.
To see flight schedules and to book reservations online, visit the Seaborne Airlines Web site. Reservations also may be made by calling toll-free (888) FLY-TOUR / 359-8687, or locally by calling 773-6442 between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday or between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday.
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