DALLAS — The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda serves as an intriguing financial haven for numerous millionaires worldwide. It not only hosts the headquarters of major companies but also attracts many airlines to register their planes in Bermuda to minimize costs and taxes.
Despite its strong ties to the commercial aviation industry, Bermuda lacked a significant domestic airline to transport passengers to and from the territory until August 2023. However, this has changed with the recent entry of a new airline called BermudAir (2T), which entered the market just one month ago with a unique focus.
BermudAir distinguishes itself as a carrier dedicated to offering frequent, well-timed, and comfortable flights for both business and leisure travelers between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast. Their objective is to establish a new connection with the United States using a fleet of Embraer E-175 aircraft, all equipped with a full-business-class layout.
Airways had the opportunity to delve into the airline’s objectives and operations with Adam D. Scott, the CEO of BermudAir. Read on to discover more about the carrier’s future plans and the exceptional features of its “Aisle Class” seating arrangement.
The Main Challenge
“Bermuda has been vastly underserviced in relation to its booming business and high-end leisure travel appeal,” Mr. Scott said, “Given its proximity to many major East Coast cities, our daily, year-round service provides a great opportunity to meet the growing demand for service between Bermuda and the U.S. BermudAir will help the island capture its share of destination demand.”
“We aim to provide an airline service that is highly relevant and appealing to our target market of both business and leisure travelers. Our service is for people for whom consistency, convenience, and frequency in air service to and from Bermuda are important.”
Essentially, the main goal of 2T goes far beyond offering an exclusive experience to its customers en route to Bermuda. The airline also aims to offer a regular, more appealing service with fixed hours to those who usually choose to charter private jets for their journeys.
However, private travel is the most convenient for the clientele, and 2T offers this service. The freedom of chartering a business jet at any time, at any airport, and on any route are all characteristics that BermudAir currently cannot offer due to the nature of its operations. That is probably the biggest challenge the carrier will face in the coming months.
Introducing the “Aisle Class”
To combat the luxury interiors of the Bombardier Global 6000, or Gulfstream G550, which are some of the private aircraft most common in the Bermudian registry, 2T has chosen to fit two Embraer E175 planes in a 44-seat, 1-1 configuration, naming the product the “Aisle Class”. This product will be available, though, on December 1, 2023.
“The E175 is part of a family of many aircraft, from the E170 all the way up to the E195. This gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of what our future fleet plan can look like, just in terms of the Embraer itself”, Adam said.
The “Aisle Class” seating provided by 2T features individual seats with a dedicated storage area and a wide desk. Each seat is separated by a dividing screen, ensuring privacy for passengers. Additionally, unlike many densely packed aircraft, the E175 aircraft used by 2T ensures that each seat is correctly positioned to have access to a window.
“An exceptional onboard experience and attentive service are a signature of the BermudAir offering. Aisle Class guests will be able to take advantage of under-seat stowage, in-seat power, free Wi-Fi, and onboard entertainment.”
In terms of the onboard service, he clarified, “We’ve focused on embracing the island of Bermuda throughout the inflight experience and are working with local partners to bring this to life for our guests through touches such as authentic Bermuda cuisine and beverages, including the iconic Dark and Stormy cocktail.”
Goodbye JFK/LaGuardia/Newark, Hello Westchester
One of the key distinguishing factors for 2T is the selection of arrival airports for their flights. While destinations like Miami, New York, and Boston are familiar to business travelers, BermudAir has opted for less traditional arrival airports.
For instance, when it comes to New York, the airline has made a deliberate choice not to operate flights to New York JFK (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), or Newark (EWR) airports, despite their own business-class travel benefits.
Instead, the airline serves Westchester County Airport (HPN), which is located approximately two hours away from Manhattan and handles fewer than 800,000 passengers annually. This airport has a limited presence from major US airlines.
Adam Scott, CEO of BermudAir, believes that flying to HPN is a strategic decision as it allows passengers to avoid crowded terminals and long security lines. He states, “Westchester is a convenient and hassle-free airport that offers a less hectic experience for our customer base. This choice presents an excellent opportunity to cater to the needs of business and premium leisure travelers.”
However, it is worth noting that by operating flights to secondary airports like Westchester or Fort Lauderdale (FLL) for Miami, 2T may face challenges in establishing partnerships with larger carriers if they decide to explore the possibility of offering connecting itineraries to Bermuda through the East Coast.
The First Month of Operations
Since their launch and start of operations in August 2023, BermudAir has seen a good welcome, especially in the British Overseas Territory. “The initial feedback from our guests has been very positive,” said the CEO. “Launching a new airline is not without its challenges; however, our commitment to exceptional service has emerged as a stand-out element that guests really value.”
Despite the promising first results given by this new business approach, 2T maintains its feet on the ground and is not studying to launch route expansions anytime soon. “We definitely see the opportunity to grow the fleet to service additional markets and countries coming into Bermuda. However, today, we are focused on our service to Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, and Westchester,” said the CEO.
“We launched BermudAir to fill service gaps for Bermudians,” he continued, “and their opinion of BermudAir has been one that is welcoming and excited about what’s to come in the future.”
What are your thoughts on Adam Scott’s market analysis regarding the launch of a new airline that aims to compete with private travel? Do you believe it will be successful in the long run? Please share your comments on our social media platforms!
Featured image: BermudAir