CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas --- Trying to entice air traffic to the U.S. Virgin Islands after raising airport landing and passenger fees 25% Feb. 1, the Virgin Islands Port Authority governing board voted to waive the fees through May for flights from the U.S. mainland that serve St. Croix after first stopping in St. Thomas.

The only carrier providing such service is US Airways, which has six flights a week from Philadelphia that land in St. Thomas and continue on to St. Croix.

However, US Airways announced in May that it will discontinue the St. Croix service Sept. 5.

American earlier discontinued its ground operations in both St. Thomas and St. Croix and contracted out the work to its American Eagle subsidiary. American Eagle also discontinued commuter flights between the two islands, although service from San Juan to both St. Thomas and St. Croix is still available.

The VIPA also will seek federal funding for a community air service development program that will offer incentives to airlines to service the destination.

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