DALLAS – A new startup carrier was born in the British island territory of Bermuda: BermudAir is set to introduce a completely different operational strategy, offering flights to the mainland United States on board all-business-class Embraer E175 aircraft.
Founded in May 2023, BermudAir plans to start operations as early as August 31, 2023, with an initial route network of three services from Bermuda-L.F. Wade Airport (BDA) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Boston (BOS), and New York-Westchester (HPN) airports.
Explaining their alternative experience under the name of “Aisle Class”, the airline said, “At the heart of Aisle Class is our unwavering commitment to extraordinary service by our attentive cabin crew‚ and our onboard food and beverage offerings curated in partnership with local establishments to bring a taste of the island’s renowned hospitality to the skies.”
Upon its operational debut, BermudAir took delivery of its second Embraer E-175STD unit on August 19, which adds up to the first airframe that has belonged to the carrier since May 17, but remains grounded at Muskoka Airport (YQA), in Southern Canada. Both E175s are claimed to be configured in a very loose 44-seat All-Business Class cabin in a 1-1 layout.
Understanding the Target Clientele
The oceanic British territory of Bermuda is well known as a financial paradise, where most of the largest fortunes base their headquarters and many airlines register their aircraft, as taxes are much lower than in many other countries, such as Ireland or Malta.
BermudAir stated that its operations are destined for “business and premium leisure travelers.” The lowest “light” fare at the airline includes hand baggage, one checked bag of up to 32kg, premium snacks and drinks, and free seat selection. However, tickets are non-refundable, and changes are allowed for a US$100 fee plus the fare difference.
BermudAir will not fly to the main airports of two of the three destinations. With the exception of Boston-Logan (BOS), the airline has chosen to operate to secondary airfields like Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Westchester (HPN) to avoid some of the wait times at the larger bases of other airlines. Westchester Airport receives under 800,000 passengers every year through its gates.
Flying All-Business Class Planes in the Atlantic
Flying fully configured Business Class aircraft is not something new in the airline industry. Especially in the high-demand transatlantic market, there have already been many attempts to propose alternatives to premium travelers on luxury flights between the leading European and Eastern American cities, and some have survived until today.
La Compagnie (B0) is a French airline that focuses its operations, especially on this passenger division. On a daily basis, with a small fleet of just two Airbus A321neo airplanes, they run all-business class flights between New York-Kennedy Airport (JFK) to the three European cities of Nice (NCE), Milan (MXP) and Paris (ORY).
In earlier years, British Airways (BA) also offered a special service for its most premium customers between London and New York when it operated the only commercial full-business class Airbus A318 with two airframes registered as G-EUNA and G-EUNB. These flights did actually take off from the more convenient London-City Airport (LCY), and after a short refueling stop in Shannon (SNN), they landed at Kennedy Airport just 8 hours later.
Do you see a bright future for the BermudAir startup? What is your opinion about running “Aisle Class” flights with a 44-seat Embraer E175 aircraft? Leave your thoughts in the comment section of our social media platforms!
Featured image: BermudAir