Seaborne Airlines will be under the ownership of a Chicago-based investment group as soon as the U.S. Department of Transportation gives the go-ahead.
Seaborne, which operates daily seaplane flights between St. Croix and St. Thomas, will continue with its existing management and staffing of 75 local employees, according to a release on Tuesday. Seaborne President and CEO Maurice Kurg will continue in his position under the new ownership and will become an equity partner.
The company flies 24 to 28 times a day between three planes, said Kurg, adding that within the next three to six months the company will acquire two more planes.
"We are definitely going to expand our routes," Kurg said, but declined to say what they would be, citing "competition."
The new owners will continue with plans to construct a new seaplane maintenance and passenger facility at the company’s Christiansted base near Watergut.
Two of the investor-owners, David Ziemer and Omer ErSelcuk, will relocate to the territory to assist in management of the new Seaborne. Both men have experience with United Airlines and British Airways, according to the company’s release.
And although he went from pilot to president with the operation, Kurg said he will continue to fly, probably at least one day a week.
"I'll hop in just to keep an eye on things," he said.
"It's a great town-to-town service," Kurg said, adding that the new Seaborne owners have a "passion" for aviation and that they have "done their homework."

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