BermudAir, an upstart airline that made the promise of business-class only travel its USP, has abandoned its exclusive credentials just weeks after it took off.
“Elevate the travel experience”
The carrier, which currently has three routes connecting Hamilton, Bermuda, to the U.S. (Boston, Fort Lauderdale and White Plains), is a self-styled “business and premium leisure” service. The plan was to lease Emraer E175 planes that were formerly part of Flybe’s stable and rearrange the cabin to remove overhead storage and accomodate 30 seats across 15 rows. By doing so, the airline had boasted that from November 1, 2023, it would “elevate the travel experience for everyone and provide well-timed, traveller-centric, stress-free flights.”
Launching BermudAir back in July, Bermuda’s Minister of Transport, Wayne Furbert, had made bold claims about what the carrier could achieve.
“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.”
As a Bermuda-based airline, BermudAir will enhance connectivity, bolster economic growth and promote travel to our beautiful island.Wayne Furbert, Bermuda’s Minister of Transport
“This will also fuel demand for ancillary services such as hotels, restaurants, and transportation, providing essential support to local businesses.”
The airline too had seemed serious about its premium reputation, restricting ticket sales on flights where the new cabins had not been installed to just half capacity in order to create a more spacious and exclusive experience on board.
Now though, after just 170 flights, it is backtracking. An economy option will be added to the cabin configuration, it says, making the BermudAir model a “dual-class” one, after all.
Framing the strategy change as a response to customer demand, the airline’s chief executive, Adam Scott, told Flight Global that the company has “remained steadfast in our commitment to increase air capacity for Bermuda and serve the business and tourism needs of the island.”
Some commentators have reacted with doubt about BermudAir’s ability to blend its offer without diluting its premium promise. Scott however remains confident.
“A dual-class cabin allows us to continue to deliver on that promise,” he said, adding that it gives “our guests more options to fly with BermudAir. After nearly 170 successful flights, it’s clear that there is strong demand for direct, short-haul and premium flights between Bermuda and the East Coast. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from our guests about their experience onboard BermudAir, but guests also desire more options and flexibility.”