BermudAir To Introduce Economy Seating In Shock U-Turn For Business Class-Only Carrier

Bermudian airline BermudAir has announced that it will abandon its business class-only model in favour of a dual-class cabin layout, including economy seating. The airline, launched earlier this year, hopes the move will help it maintain steady passenger numbers and offer passengers greater flexibility.

BermudAir Cabin
BermudAir plans to introduce dual-class cabins in response to customer feedback © BermudAir

BermudAir To Introduce Economy Seating – Business Class-Only Model Abandoned

Just months after launching, start-up carrier BermudAir has made a dramatic U-turn and announced that it will introduce economy class seating to its aircraft, abandoning its plans to operate business class flights exclusively.

The shock move, says the airline, comes in response to customer feedback for more seating options and the airline’s desire to sustain consistent passenger loads throughout the year to the seasonal travel destination.

From the beginning of November, the airline plans to retrofit its fleet, which includes two 30-seater Embraer E175 aircraft, to incorporate dual-class cabins comprising both business class, dubbed “aisle class”, and economy class seating. The final cabin configuration has yet to be confirmed, although it is understood that such changes will be made before the close of 2023.

At present, it is only possible for BermudAir passengers to book economy light, classic and flex ticket options. From December, however, business-class seating will become available, allowing passengers to check in up to three pieces of luggage weighing up to 32 kg, cancel their booking up to the day of departure, and receive a full refund.

On the airline’s departure from its original business model, Adam Scott, BermudAir’s founder and CEO, said:

“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. BermudAir is uniquely positioned to fill that need with our dual-class cabin.”

BermudAir destinations
BermudAir offers flights to key US destinations, including New York, Boston and Fort Lauderdale © BermudAir (top left), Dietmar Rabich (top right), TanRo (bottom left) and formulanone (bottom right)

From Bermuda To The USA (And Beyond?)

BermudAir is a relatively young airline, established in May this year with the initial aim of operating short-haul, business class-only flights between the island of Bermuda and the east coast of the United States. The airline’s launch was cited as an excellent opportunity for the country to promote itself as a leading destination for business and premium leisure travellers alike.

The airline was granted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority just two months after its launch and completed its inaugural flight to Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday, 1st September.

The airline currently operates weekly, year-round flights between its base at L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA), Bermuda, and popular destinations in the United States, including Westchester County Airport (HPN), New York, Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts, and Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Florida.

Some have expressed disappointment at BermudAir wasting a unique opportunity to challenge other business class-only airlines; however, others have highlighted the safety net that the airline has effectively given itself in working to maintain consistent passenger numbers throughout the year. In addition, the move could pave the way for the airline to operate more flights to more destinations and widen its customer scope to include general leisure travellers. Whether the airline’s latest gamble will pay off remains to be seen.

Have you ever flown with BermudAir? What are your thoughts on the airline’s plan to introduce economy seating to its cabins? Let us know in the comments!

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Rachel Dunster
Rachel Dunster
Aviation Reporter
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