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Seaborne Celebrates Saab Certification with Fare Sale

The St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines is offering sale fares until Saturday for trips through the end of the year to celebrate the recent Federal Aviation Administration certification of the airline’s new Saab 340B aircraft.

Nonstop flights on the Saab 340B turboprop will begin April 1 between the San Juan airport and the St. Thomas, St. Croix and Tortola airports. One-way fares start at $55.

Seaborne flies the 34-seat Saab 340Bs to Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, to Terrence Lettsome Airport on Tortola and Luis Muñoz Marin Airport in San Juan.

Another new route using the Saab planes will begin April 1 between San Juan and Melville Hall Airport in Dominica.

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Two new additional routes with the Saab planes will commence June 1 between San Juan and Aime Césaire Airport de Fort-de-France in Martinique and the Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe.

“After eight months of incredible work by the Seaborne operations team, we are happy and proud to introduce the 34-passenger Saab 340B aircraft to the Caribbean,” David Ziemer, Seaborne Airlines chief operating office, said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Omer ErSelcuk, Seaborne’s chief executive officer, said that the airline invested close to $8 million for three Saab planes and more than $1 million to FAA certification. He said that the certification is the same as larger planes require.

“There is a strict level of oversight,” he said.

ErSelcuk said that more Saab planes will be added to the fleet as needed.

The Saab operates with two pilots and a flight attendant providing in-flight service, and has a lavatory.

According to the Seaborne press release, the increased speed will provide the fastest overall journey on all routes Seaborne flies. The Saab’s fuel-efficient aircraft will help keep Seaborne competitive and eco-friendly, they report.

With the addition of the Saab 340Bs, Seaborne is poised for even greater growth throughout the Caribbean and will add needed lift for local interisland travel as well as easier ways for tourists to connect to the Caribbean worldwide. ErSelcuk said Seaborne is filling the gap left by the downsizing of American Airlines and its American Eagle service.

Along with the added flights to passengers throughout the Caribbean, the addition of the Saab340B to Seaborne’s fleet has prompted marketplace growth by adding jobs in the U.S. Virgin Islands where aircraft, pilots, and flight attendants are based. ErSelcuk said Seaborne now employs nearly 200 people, most of them on St. Croix.

“We doubled the size of the airline in terms of employees,” he said.

In addition to its flights using the Saab aircraft, Seaborne continues to fly its Twin Otter planes between downtown St. Thomas and St. Croix seaplane terminals and between St. Thomas and St. Croix airports. Additionally, ErSelcuk said the Twin Otters are used between San Juan and Vieques, San Juan and Virgin Gorda, St. Croix and Vieques, and San Juan and St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Seaborne began flying in 1992.

Flights can be reserved at www.seaborneairlines.com, through local travel agents or by calling 866-359-8784.

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The St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines is offering sale fares until Saturday for trips through the end of the year to celebrate the recent Federal Aviation Administration certification of the airline’s new Saab 340B aircraft.

Nonstop flights on the Saab 340B turboprop will begin April 1 between the San Juan airport and the St. Thomas, St. Croix and Tortola airports. One-way fares start at $55.

Seaborne flies the 34-seat Saab 340Bs to Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, to Terrence Lettsome Airport on Tortola and Luis Muñoz Marin Airport in San Juan.

Another new route using the Saab planes will begin April 1 between San Juan and Melville Hall Airport in Dominica.

Two new additional routes with the Saab planes will commence June 1 between San Juan and Aime Césaire Airport de Fort-de-France in Martinique and the Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe.

“After eight months of incredible work by the Seaborne operations team, we are happy and proud to introduce the 34-passenger Saab 340B aircraft to the Caribbean,” David Ziemer, Seaborne Airlines chief operating office, said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Omer ErSelcuk, Seaborne’s chief executive officer, said that the airline invested close to $8 million for three Saab planes and more than $1 million to FAA certification. He said that the certification is the same as larger planes require.

“There is a strict level of oversight,” he said.

ErSelcuk said that more Saab planes will be added to the fleet as needed.

The Saab operates with two pilots and a flight attendant providing in-flight service, and has a lavatory.

According to the Seaborne press release, the increased speed will provide the fastest overall journey on all routes Seaborne flies. The Saab’s fuel-efficient aircraft will help keep Seaborne competitive and eco-friendly, they report.

With the addition of the Saab 340Bs, Seaborne is poised for even greater growth throughout the Caribbean and will add needed lift for local interisland travel as well as easier ways for tourists to connect to the Caribbean worldwide. ErSelcuk said Seaborne is filling the gap left by the downsizing of American Airlines and its American Eagle service.

Along with the added flights to passengers throughout the Caribbean, the addition of the Saab340B to Seaborne’s fleet has prompted marketplace growth by adding jobs in the U.S. Virgin Islands where aircraft, pilots, and flight attendants are based. ErSelcuk said Seaborne now employs nearly 200 people, most of them on St. Croix.

“We doubled the size of the airline in terms of employees,” he said.

In addition to its flights using the Saab aircraft, Seaborne continues to fly its Twin Otter planes between downtown St. Thomas and St. Croix seaplane terminals and between St. Thomas and St. Croix airports. Additionally, ErSelcuk said the Twin Otters are used between San Juan and Vieques, San Juan and Virgin Gorda, St. Croix and Vieques, and San Juan and St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Seaborne began flying in 1992.

Flights can be reserved at www.seaborneairlines.com, through local travel agents or by calling 866-359-8784.