Antilles Air Boats under the ownership of Resorts International was coming to a close and I decided to move to Coral Air at Alexander Hamilton Airport, St. Croix . Ron Gilles (from AAB) had taken on a management position and asked me to assist.
Airline Deregulation of 1978 allowed for the production of new aircraft for the commuter market. Coral Air entered into an agreements to receive 5 GAF Nomad aircraft as well as 1 - 30 seat Shorts SD-330. The Nomads proved to be less than
reliable, spending more time in maintenance than in the air.
The SD-330 was reliable aircraft and the passengers enjoyed the standup cabin with flight attendant service. The North American distributor's agreement (Shorts USA) was to start with lower lease pricing and would be bumped up over time.
The Nomads were returned to Hughes Aviation Services (Las Vegas) , the North American distributor. That left Coral Air with 2 aircraft, the SD-330 and BN2A Islander.
As the lease payment increased on the SD-330 it became more difficult to keep the aircraft. The aircraft was returned.
Without having a stronger financial backing and with flying only the Islander, Coral Air was getting close to shutting down.
Hughes Aviation Services asked if I would assist with a new Nomad operation in Hawaii. I thought it was time to explore new opportunities. Left St. Croix for the Hawaiian Islands.