Hummingbird Air (St. Croix Henry E. Rohlsen) will suspend all operations with effect from April 1, 2017, the airline's Managing Director, Samuel Raphael, has announced.

In a letter to customers dated March 14 and carried by the Virgin Islands Consortium newspaper, 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," he said.

The US 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 C99s 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 Henry E. Rohlsen to each of Basseterre and Dominica Douglas-Charles. As part of its marketing, it offers customers the use of SHOPNET, a service which 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.