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Charlotte Amalie
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HomeNewsArchivesCAPE AIR WILL SERVE ST. CROIX STARTING IN NOVEMBER

CAPE AIR WILL SERVE ST. CROIX STARTING IN NOVEMBER

Inter-island airline competition will heat up in November when Cape Air begins service to St. Croix.
Cape Air, the largest independent regional airline in the country, began service between St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico last November. Starting on Nov. 4, the airline will begin daily service between St. Croix and San Juan every hour from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. There will also be five daily flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas, said Michelle Haynes, Cape Air’s director of communications.
"We are very happy with the support and service we have received in the Virgin Islands," Haynes said. "We are very optimistic and thrilled with the response of the people."
But Cape Air won’t be the only new carrier on the block come November. Last July, Gulfstream International Airlines announced that it will offer round-trip flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico starting Nov. 1. Flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas will also be offered
After years of limited airlift capacity in and out of St. Croix, the island was dealt another blow earlier this month when Delta Airlines announced it was cutting its daily jet flight to the island. While St. Croix is served by American Airlines, American Eagle and US Airways, those flights are limited.
Critics of American, and especially American Eagle, contend that the carriers have a monopoly on flights into and out of the territory, causing ticket prices to remain high.
The addition of two new regional carriers should benefit travelers, said Gordon Finch, executive director of the V.I. Port Authority.
"(Cape Air’s) presence on the island will provide residents with more alternatives for inter-island travel and create healthy competition," he said.
Cape Air operates nine-passenger Cessna 402s, but Haynes said the airline has the flexibility to use more than one aircraft for a trip.
"We are a demand scheduler," she said. "If we have passengers, we have the planes."
Meanwhile, St. Croix’s other fledgling carrier, Gulfstream, has operated in Florida and the Bahamas since its inception in 1991 and currently operates 230 daily flights in that market. The Fort Lauderdale-based airline also flies four times a week from Miami to Havana, Cuba using four 727s. The company is owned by Tom Cooper, a former Eastern Airlines pilot who started Gulfstream after Eastern went out of business.
According to Cooper after he announced his intention to serve the territory, Gulfstream will offer seven roundtrip flights between St. Croix and San Juan, while St. Thomas will have 11. In total, Gulfstream will fly 400 flights per week using six, 19-passenger, twin-engine Beechcraft airplanes. Cooper said the airline will be based in San Juan and eventually employ 75 people to support the company’s expansion.
Neither company has announced what their fares will be.

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Inter-island airline competition will heat up in November when Cape Air begins service to St. Croix.
Cape Air, the largest independent regional airline in the country, began service between St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico last November. Starting on Nov. 4, the airline will begin daily service between St. Croix and San Juan every hour from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. There will also be five daily flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas, said Michelle Haynes, Cape Air’s director of communications.
"We are very happy with the support and service we have received in the Virgin Islands," Haynes said. "We are very optimistic and thrilled with the response of the people."
But Cape Air won’t be the only new carrier on the block come November. Last July, Gulfstream International Airlines announced that it will offer round-trip flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico starting Nov. 1. Flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas will also be offered
After years of limited airlift capacity in and out of St. Croix, the island was dealt another blow earlier this month when Delta Airlines announced it was cutting its daily jet flight to the island. While St. Croix is served by American Airlines, American Eagle and US Airways, those flights are limited.
Critics of American, and especially American Eagle, contend that the carriers have a monopoly on flights into and out of the territory, causing ticket prices to remain high.
The addition of two new regional carriers should benefit travelers, said Gordon Finch, executive director of the V.I. Port Authority.
"(Cape Air’s) presence on the island will provide residents with more alternatives for inter-island travel and create healthy competition," he said.
Cape Air operates nine-passenger Cessna 402s, but Haynes said the airline has the flexibility to use more than one aircraft for a trip.
"We are a demand scheduler," she said. "If we have passengers, we have the planes."
Meanwhile, St. Croix’s other fledgling carrier, Gulfstream, has operated in Florida and the Bahamas since its inception in 1991 and currently operates 230 daily flights in that market. The Fort Lauderdale-based airline also flies four times a week from Miami to Havana, Cuba using four 727s. The company is owned by Tom Cooper, a former Eastern Airlines pilot who started Gulfstream after Eastern went out of business.
According to Cooper after he announced his intention to serve the territory, Gulfstream will offer seven roundtrip flights between St. Croix and San Juan, while St. Thomas will have 11. In total, Gulfstream will fly 400 flights per week using six, 19-passenger, twin-engine Beechcraft airplanes. Cooper said the airline will be based in San Juan and eventually employ 75 people to support the company’s expansion.
Neither company has announced what their fares will be.