BermudaAir ditches business class only strategy

Summary

  • BermudaAir will adjust its cabins to include economy seating on its Embraer E175 fleet in response to guest demand and feedback.
  • The airline initially planned to launch with all-business class seats, but there were delays in the supply chain, which forced it to operate flights at half capacity.
  • The new adjustments will see BermudaAir offer ‘Aisle Class’ and Economy Class, allowing guests to choose a travel experience that suits their needs and preferences.


Following feedback from passengers, newly formed business class company BermudaAir will adapt its cabins to include economy seating on its Embraer E175 fleet.


Vibrations in the cabin

As reported by FlightGlobal, the newly formed Bermuda premium carrier will change its current business model to offer two classes of seats after just six weeks of operations. CEO Adam Scott noted,

“After nearly 170 successful flights, it is clear that there is strong demand for direct, short-haul and premium flights between Bermuda and the East Coast. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our guests…but guests also want more options and flexibility.”

Originally planning to launch with business class seating, supply chain delays forced the airline to push back its schedule, instead offering 44 seats on each flight, half the plane’s capacity, to allow for a more spacious travel experience to previously scheduled overhaul.

Photo: BermudaAir

The new adjustments will see BermudaAir abandon plans to retrofit its E175s with 30 suites in business class, instead keeping aisle class and economy class, providing additional capacity as it targets growth in the United States. Scott added,

“The strategic change in service allows the airline to maintain its commitment to Bermuda while responding to evolving market dynamics and preliminary guest feedback from the phased launch. The dual-class cabin will also allow guests to choose a travel experience that suits their individual needs and preferences.”

Under the adjusted model, the airline will equip its cabin with twin class seats in the fourth quarter, with the proposed business class seats available before the end of 2023. BermudaAir currently offers three ticket options: economy light, classic and flexible. The airline’s upcoming business class upgrade is set to provide premium passengers with larger luggage and more flexible booking options.

BermudaAir’s decision was not without controversy; while some analysts praised the airline’s decision to shift its focus to year-round operations, others expressed concern that the announcement could negatively impact the premium travel market and the business class travel model. Another airline currently offers all-business class travel, French boutique carrier La Compagnie, while US-based JetBlue offers the Mint premium product on several of its Airbus A321 aircraft.

Growth plans

Since launching in September, BermudaAir has operated almost 200 flights connecting to three East Coast destinations from its hub at Bermuda’s LF Wade International Airport (BDA).

Launch of BermudaAir Bermuda-Boston

Photo: BermudaAir

Services initially launched with flights to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), with service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida and Westchester County Airport (HPN) in upstate New York following in late September.

Despite early successes, the carrier has no immediate plans for further expansion, with the airline remaining focused on its East Coast operations. The eventual growth will see the airline looking to increase its fleet, allowing it to serve other destinations and target new markets. BermudaAir operates two ex-Flybe E175s (VQ-BLU, VQ-BLW) on lease from Azorra Aviation. The carrier is yet to confirm the seating arrangements for its upcoming dual-class cabin.

Have you already had the opportunity to fly with BermudaAir? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: FlightGlobal, Aviation Week, The Independent

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