During their monthly board meeting on Wednesday, the VI Port Authority board authorized the negotiation of a new three-year lease with SkyHigh Aviation Services LLC, a Dominican Republic Airline.
SkyHigh will operate two weekly flights between Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport and St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport. The new route will feature an Embraer-145, with a capacity of 50 passengers, and an Embraer-190 which has nine business and 88 coach seats.
The airline now operates in 21 destinations, including Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Antigua, Anguilla, Martinique, Venezuela, Miami, and Cuba.
“I need you [in] St. Croix, “ said board member Celestino White to SkyHigh representatives.
“We truly believe that in the next, perhaps, four to five months from now, we should be starting our operations in St. Croix, with a minimum of two operations per week,” said a representative from SkyHigh.
White also inquired about the possibility for local Virgin Islands pilots to work for the airline but was still unclear of the answer provided by SkyHigh representatives.
“They already have couple people in St. Thomas, locally already, who are working the counter with them,” responded executive director Carlton Dowe.
Before voting on the lease agreement, board chairman Willard John said that “This was not voted on favorably during the committee meeting. We wanted to hear from them [SkyHigh] to clarify some issues we were concerned about.”
However, after hearing from SkyHigh representatives, all board members voted to approve the lease with SkyHigh at the Cyril E. King airport.
Port Authority airport officials and the Department of Tourism will greet the inaugural flight on Monday at 10 am at the Cyril E. King Airport, beginning the first of the bi-weekly flights to ensue.
Reservations can be made through the airline’s website or by calling 340-514-7484 in St. Thomas or 809-591-4412 in the Dominican Republic.
Board members Willard John, Derek Gabriel, Kevin Rodgriguez, Lionel Jacobs, Celestino White Sr., and Leona Smith were present.