CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas -- There's good news and bad news regarding airlift into the U.S. Virgin Islands this summer.

First, the good news:

• Seaborne Airlines is set to launch a seaplane route between Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Frederiksted, St. Croix, this summer.

Seaborne will open a ticket office near the Ann Abramson pier in Frederiksted and plans to install a 25-foot-long floating dock, similar to one used in Christiansted, St. Croix at which passengers will enplane and deplane, according to a Seaborne representative.

The new service will supplement Seaborne's existing daily flights between the downtown areas of Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted.

Roundtrip fares for the port-to-port 18-minute flights range from $85 for the midday and weekend SeaSavers tickets to $150 in peak travel times.

Seaborne's SeaMiles frequent flyer program was launched earlier this year.

For details, visit www.seaborneairlines.com or call (888) 359-8687.

• Continental and Cape Air launched a code-sharing agreement in March on selected Cape Air flights from San Juan and St. Thomas, linking Continental's routes from Newark, Houston and Cleveland.

Continental now shares codes on Cape Air flights from San Juan to Ponce, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas; and St. Croix. From St. Thomas, code-share flights include St. Croix and Tortola.

Cape Air, which flies nine-passenger Cessna aircraft, offers hourly service in both directions between San Juan and St. Thomas, with midweek roundtrip fares starting at $179.

Between San Juan and St. Croix, Cape Air offers five daily flights, with roundtrip fares from $189.

Eight daily flights link St. Thomas and St. Croix, with roundtrip fares from $119.

To book, call (800) 352-0714.

Other interisland carriers serving the U.S. Virgin Islands include Air St. Thomas, Air Sunshine and LIAT.

Now, the bad news:

• American will close its St. Croix ticket counter and American Eagle will discontinue its four daily weekday flights and two daily weekend flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix May 1.

American's Miami-St. Croix service will continue to operate, but will be handled by American Eagle personnel.

Travelers still will be able to fly American from San Juan to St. Croix and St. Thomas and between St. Croix and St. Thomas through San Juan.

American's cutbacks result from a traffic falloff due to a 25% increase in landing and passenger fees imposed by the Virgin Islands Port Authority.

The Caribbean Hotel Association asked VIPA and Gov. Charles Turnbull to reconsider the fee-hike decision, citing "the long-term negative consequences, especially in light of the present economy and the Middle East conflict," said Simon Suarez, CHA president.

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