Air Transport World

VISS: Caribbean seaplane shuttle revitalized; largest IFR certified seaplane airline upgrades amphibian fleet and reports 26% traffic gain in three years. (Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle)

VISS: Caribbean seaplane shuttle revitalized ST.Croix--Convenience, comfort, reliability and the novelty of Caribbean water landings and downtown seaplane ports are prime reasons given for the 26% growth in Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle traffic during the past three years.

Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle is currently the shining light of Caribbean commuter airline operations. The high-frequency service to the Caribbean chain of islands offered by Prinair for nearly 20 years is no more. The only competitive seaplane flights, operated by Seaject with float-equipped de Havilland Twin Otters, were stopped recently by FAA orders. Ocean Air and Coral Air are not more. BVI Douglas DC-3s still fly schedules from British West Indies islands to St. Thomas, San Juan and other points. At presstime Air Puerto Rico has yet to start service.

Eastern Metro Express, which began service this past January with former Sunaire Twin Otters, aspires to replace Prinair as the major commuter carrier in the area.

VISS offers unique downtown-to-downtown inter-island schedules to St. Johns, St. Croix (its base), Tortola, St. Thomas and San Juan. It began service in September 1982 following the purchase of two Grumman Mallard amphibians from Resorts International. …

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