St. Thomas-based Sea Flight Airlines issued a statement Friday dispelling rumors that its flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix had been shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration due to safety concerns.
While the airline did halt flights beginning a week ago today, it is only a temporary suspension in operations as the airline awaits word on an application from the U.S. Department of Transportation that would allow them to expand their services, said the company's owner, Don Lewis.
"We wanted to be able to go into the BVI and Puerto Rico, and to be able to do so on a regular basis," Lewis said. The company had been planning to expand its operations to offer flights to Tortola and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"It's a major certificate," he said.
The statement from Sea Flight said that the flight suspension led to false rumors being spread that the FAA had forced the company to shut down operations because of safety issues.
"Contrary to what falsehoods are being spread, they were not forced to shut down by the FAA, nor are there any safety issues involved in this decision," the statement said.
According to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, the federal regulator has not suspended Sea Flight transit.
"We have taken no action against any company called Sea Flight," she said.
The flight suspension may last a few more weeks, according to the statement.