A Seaborne aircraft

A Seaborne aircraft

St. Croix-based Seaborne Airline announced today (Tuesday) that effective April 1, 2013, it will be operating non-stop services from Luis Muñoz Marín Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Melville Airport in Dominica.

The route will be serviced by the 34-seat Saab turboprop aircraft operated by two pilots and a flight attendant and includes in-flight service and a lavatory.

This should be welcome news for many Dominicans who have been worried after American Eagle announced that it would suspending flights from San Juan in 2013 to a number Caribbean destinations as it attempts to shave US$75-million per year in labor costs.

San Juan serves as a major hub for travelers coming to Dominica from many north American and other international destinations.

The airline also announced effective Monday, February 18, 2013, that it has launched its first interline arrangement with a major carrier – American Airlines – which will make connections from all of Seaborne cities at San Juan even easier.

The company said baggage will transfer between Seaborne and American on the ramp at San Juan, as opposed to having to be rechecked with the other carrier, and soon Seaborne will be issuing boarding passes on American flights.

Seaborne also recently relocated to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to be close to American in Concourse D and soon, all Seaborne flights will be displayed and sold on AA.com as part of this new arrangement.

Seaborne Airlines President, Gary Fost, said the move into Dominica is part of the airlines expansion into the Caribbean. “These additions are part of Seaborne’s rapid expansion across the Caribbean, with growth focused on providing new connecting service at San Juan, PR,” he said. “While Seaborne is capitalizing on changes in the Caribbean marketplace, much of the growth in jobs is taking place in the U.S. VirginIslands where planes, pilots and flight attendants are based.”

The service to Dominica is one among three announced by Seaborne on Tuesday.

Seaborne Airlines is one of the largest employers in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Named the “Best Small Air Transport” serving the U.S. Virgin Islands, every year since 2007, it has operated for more than 19 years in the Caribbean, carrying almost 2.5 million passengers.