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Raphael: Hummingbird Air Will Suspend All Flight Operations Effective April 1

Hummingbird Air’s Managing Director Sam Raphael 

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FREDERIKSTED — Hummingbird Air will suspend all operations with effect from April 1, 2017, according to the airline’s managing director.

In a letter to customers dated March 14, Hummingbird’s Samuel Raphael said negotiations were currently underway with a new management group to take over the carrier’s operations.

“We recognize that aviation options are limited and had hoped for a seamless management changeover, however due to a number of factors we have decided to suspend service at the end of this month,” Raphael said.

The U.S. Virgin Islands-based carrier has struggled to maintain its footing in the difficult Caribbean market following a string of accidents involving its fleet of Beech C99’s in 2015. In November 2015, it was forced to suspend flights only to resume them roughly nine months later.

According to its website, Hummingbird Air operates regular passenger and cargo flights from its base at St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlsen Airport to each of Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts and Dominica’s Douglas-Charles Airport.

As part of its marketing, it offers customers the use of SHOPNET, a service that allows residents of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis to make online purchases through virtual retailers like Amazon and eBay, and route those purchases through the carrier.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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