St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines will increase capacity to the U.S. Virgin Islands for spring 2013 and beyond.

The carrier will introduce 34-seat Saab turboprops to St. Thomas and St. Croix from San Juan in February.

In addition, Seaborne will add flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix with 17-seat Twin Otter aircraft.

The new flights, combined with existing Twin Otter seaplane service between St. Thomas and St. Croix, will bring the carrier's operations to 300 flights a week with more than 10,000 seats into and out of the USVI, making Seaborne the USVI's largest carrier in terms of capacity.

"The added capacity and equipment upgrades encourages more inter-island travel and ensures that travelers benefit from improved access to the Territory, better connections, and greater comfort. This news is welcome from a locally-based airline that is uniquely positioned to bring additional employment and revenue to the Territory," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, tourism commissioner for the USVI.

Seaborne Airlines operates 350 weekly departures between San Juan, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Vieques and, starting in December, Tortola and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.


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