Now equipped with an operating certificate granted by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA), BermudaAir moved one step closer to launching the boutique airline services to business-class travellers.
At a news conference held yesterday, Adam Scott, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda-based airline, gathered with local dignitaries for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new customer service offices at LF Wade International Airport.
Details will be announced in due course on the two Embraer E175 aircraft for flights between Bermuda and the US East Coast.
No official date on their inaugural flight, but the airline plans to begin service late this summer.
“We’re grateful that BermudAir’s work to set up a world-class airline in Bermuda has been validated via the rigorous AOC assessment process,” said Mr Scott.
“This is a major milestone for our team towards fully launching the airline and being able to serve this market. Both the BCAA and BermudAir teams have put in a lot of hours to get here and we appreciate everyone’s commitment throughout the process.”
Pending approval by the US Department of Transportation, which he says was “imminent”, he said the company was looking to hire at least 80 staff, who will bring “the flavours of Bermuda and the island’s renowned hospitality”.
“We want to be Bermuda’s airline and so we want to have Bermudians represented throughout the organisation.
“In examining this unique market, we see the opportunity to provide premier service and deliver additional business and premium leisure travellers to Bermuda.
“We’re dedicated to providing exceptional service and will provide curated onboard offerings that will showcase the flavours of Bermuda, while reflecting the island’s renowned hospitality,” he added.
The E175 typically accommodates 88 passengers, but BermudaAir’s two aircraft have 30 seats each.
But Mr Scott said the airline will not cater exclusively to the upmarket.
“We are going upmarket of course in terms of our product but I think the product is going to be relevant for anybody for whom time is an issue or for efficiency from a Bermuda perspective.
“We’ll provide something that’s new and unique that’s going to be most relevant for the Bermuda market..
“The critical thing here is that we’re the first airline that is centred in Bermuda. Bermuda is at the centre of everything we do,” he said.
“As we’ve prepared towards launch, we’ve been establishing partnerships with Bermuda businesses to source products and services locally as much as possible. We’re also hiring locally and internationally.
“We’re ensuring we have people who are qualified to meet the requirements of an airline team and also aligned with our philosophy to put Bermuda at the centre of everything we do.”
Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, said: “As a government, we take immense pride in witnessing a significant milestone for Bermuda, the impending launch of the first-ever locally established Bermuda-based airline — BermudAir.
“This marks a pivotal step forward for expanding our island’s aviation sector and symbolises the potential for growth, progress and self-sufficiency within our borders.
“The introduction of BermudAir will undoubtedly significantly contribute to developing air services in Bermuda.
“As a Bermuda-based airline, BermudAir will enhance connectivity, bolster economic growth and promote travel to our beautiful island.
“Moreover, BermudAir’s operations will generate numerous direct and indirect employment opportunities, ranging from pilots, flight attendants and ground staff to administrative, maintenance and customer service roles,” he added.
“This will also fuel demand for ancillary services such as hotels, restaurants, and transportation, providing essential support to local businesses.”
Moving forward, the Minister said: “We stand at the threshold of a new era in Bermuda’s aviation history.
“The forthcoming launch of BERMUDAIR represents a resounding triumph for Bermuda, signifying to the world that we possess the capacity and capability to excel in diverse industries.”
In closing, he congratulated the airline’s Executives, “for having the vision for this airline”, and he commended them for “persevering”.
“Be strong; keep the vision before you. Remember, vision without passion is a picture without possibilities,” said Mr Furbert.
“Congratulations on this momentous occasion, and may BERMUDAIR continue to represent Bermuda with unwavering pride and distinction. And I eagerly anticipate the exhilarating inaugural flight in the very near future.”