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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online
Bermuda gets more than 75% of its tourists from the USA, 5% from Canada, 4% from the UK and rest of the world combined. Hence the great majority of Bermuda's direct airline arrivals and departures are mostly from US East Coast cities. (There are no longer any flights between Halifax and Bermuda or Baltimore Washington, instead, there are now flights from Washington DC to Bermuda, as shown below. Nor are there any commercial flights from or to the Caribbean, 900 miles south. Bermuda is NOT in the Caribbean. Going there from Bermuda is via the USA or Canada or UK). Bermuda is 568 miles east of North Carolina (with a daily flight), 693 miles south east of New York (with daily flights), 729 miles south of Nova Scotia, 770 miles south east of Boston (with daily flights), 788 miles north east of Nassau (no connection by air but via the USA), 1115 miles south east of Toronto (with daily flights), 1290 miles north of Puerto Rico (via the USA), 2055 miles from Winnipeg (via Toronto) and 2996 miles from London, England (a daily flight).
Aircraft apron in Bermuda
2020. March 21. An emergency flight set up to get US citizens in Bermuda home today has been cancelled. A WestJet flight from Toronto to Bermuda to bring Bermudians home and transport Canadians back which was scheduled for today has also been cancelled. A Government spokesman said that the New York air traffic control centre had suspended airport approach and departure control services — which meant planes could not operate in Bermuda airspace. He explained: “This service, which is essential for flights to safely arrive and depart from Bermuda, has resulted in today’s Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Bermuda being cancelled.” The spokesman said it was expected the New York control centre would be back in operation by 7.30pm. But he added: “This is not certain and the Bermuda Airport Authority is coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration for the latest updates.” A spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Bermuda said: “Today’s Delta flight has been cancelled — it has not been postponed or rescheduled. The Consulate is unaware of any additional flights being added at this time.” She added that people should monitor the websites of airlines and Bermuda airport operators Skyport for updated information. The news came after the US Consulate said this morning that today’s emergency flight to the US would be the only one until further notice for American citizens who wanted to go home. The consulate said earlier that four relief Delta flights to Atlanta had been organised from yesterday until Tuesday, with Bermudians in the US able to return today. A government spokesman said earlier that it was “critically important that only Bermudian citizens and legal residents book these flights and carry the necessary documentation for entry into Bermuda”. He added: “Individuals that are neither citizens nor legal residents of Bermuda will be denied entry into the country.” Bermudians who want to come home and US nationals who want to return were told to book a seat at Delta.com or by using the FlyDelta app. The flights were organised after negotiations that involved the Bermuda Government, airport operators Skyport and the United States Consulate. A spokesman for the tourism and transport ministry said any flight crews arriving from Atlanta would remain on board the planes when they are on the tarmac. Zane DeSilva, the tourism and transport minister, said the situation in the US “mirrors that of Canada, with many nationals stranded outside their home country and unable to secure a flight back home”. Ms Dierman said the US Consulate had fielded “a moderately low volume of calls and e-mails from Americans requesting information about their options. Many are following information posted on websites, social media, and government announcements. The Government of Bermuda has been working around the clock to provide as much information as possible to the public about Covid-19. The protective measures that have been put in place help protect all those in Bermuda from the spread of the virus. I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to the many government officials, health professionals, immigration officers, and private citizens who have been working together around the clock to address Covid-19 to ensure the health and safety of all in Bermuda.” She added Americans should sign up for the Smart Traveller Enrolment Programme to get security updates at https://step.state.gov/ The Consulate also posts regular updates on its website at bm.usconsulate.gov and social media sites Facebook.com/usconshamilton and twitter.com/usconshamilton.
2020. March 17. Two airlines have announced flight suspensions to Bermuda, the Government announced this afternoon. A spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism and Transport said that American Airlines and WestJet were both to suspend flights. He said: “Effective immediately, American Airlines inbound flights to Bermuda from Miami (AA 308) and New York’s John F Kennedy Airport (AA 1416) are suspended through March 23 with service expected to resume March 24. Likewise, outbound American Airlines flights from Bermuda to Miami (AA 1325) and John F Kennedy Airport (AA 1443) are also suspended through March 24 with service expected to resume March 25. WestJet is suspending commercial service for all international flights, including to and from Toronto to Bermuda, for 30 days starting midnight on Sunday.” The spokesman said that flights scheduled to leave Bermuda tomorrow are:
He added: “American Airlines continues to provide weekly service from Philadelphia and LaGuardia on Saturdays only, and Air Canada continues providing service between Bermuda and Toronto on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. It must be noted that flights are subject to each airline’s schedule changes, and so travellers are encouraged to check regularly with their airline carriers for updates.” The spokesman highlighted that all travellers to Bermuda were required to self-quarantine for 14 days. He said: “This decision, while effectively closing our borders to tourists, was taken in the best interest of Bermuda. We encourage Bermudians travelling overseas to return to the island as soon as possible as we cannot guarantee that further flight cancellations will not occur.”
2020. March 13. Airlines that service Bermuda have offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. British Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, Air Canada and WestJet have each announced they would waive change fees, although the details of the policies differ between the airlines. British Airways has offered to waive change fees for any British Airways flight booked between March 3 and 31. A spokesman said: “If you need to change the travel date on your booking, we are waiving all change fees — a fare difference may apply. This applies to any British Airways flight, in any cabin, whether booked directly with us or through a travel agent. If you need to cancel your flight, we will give you a voucher to the value of that flight which can be used across the British Airways network up to 12 months from the original date of departure.” American Airlines, which offers flights to New York, Miami and Philadelphia, have waived change fees for tickets purchased prior to March 1 for travel through April 30. Change fees for summer travel have also been waived for those who book their flights now. Delta, which flies to New York, Boston and Atlanta, has waived change fees for all tickets purchased in March for travel before February 25 next year. The airline also announced there would be no change fees for any previously purchased tickets to travel between March 1 and April 30. Jet Blue, who fly to New York and Boston, announced that it would suspend change and cancel fees for bookings made between March 6 and 31 for travel through September 8, 2020. Change/cancel fees for customers who had previously booked to travel between March 10 and April 30 have also been waived. Air Canada, which offers service to Toronto, is offering a one-time change fee waiver for to tickets purchased between March 4 and 31, 2020 — provided all travel is completed before December 31, 2020. WestJet, which also flies to Toronto, has offered a one-time change fee waiver for flights booked between March 3 and 31, 2020. All of the airlines also announced that they had increased cleaning of their aircraft as a result of the pandemic.
Although this was not always the case - see Bermuda's Aviation Pioneers. The last one was Eagle Airlines (Bermuda) Ltd in the late 1950s.
As they are required in the USA, UK, Canada, Europe, etc. since January 2008 and earlier
Flying to Bermuda from Toronto. The local head office (open Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) is at the L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda. 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish, Bermuda, telephone (441) 293-0793, fax (441) 293-0667. Telephone Aero plan 1-800-623-0752; Passenger Reservations & Information 1-800-776-3000 (7 am to 3 am, 20 hours daily); Air Freight (441) 293-2480 or 2105; Baggage (441) 293-0794; Flight Information (441) 293-1777.
Formed in 1937 as Trans Canada Air Lines, It first flew in 1939. In September, 1946, in one of the first not pressurized Canadian North Star aircraft, it surveyed the route from Montreal to Bermuda. In 1948 it began a Montreal Toronto Bermuda route and established air to ground communications systems it needed, in Bermuda, Goose Bay, Labrador and Gander, Newfoundland. It commissioned the 1986 book "It Seems Like Only Yesterday" by Philip Smith to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Today, Air Canada offers year-round service.
2020. March 13. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO, said: “Like all of you, we’ve been monitoring the evolving global impact of the novel coronavirus and are in constant dialogue with Canadian and international health authorities. At Air Canada, our core value is safety first, always, for our customers and for our employees. So I’d like to share what we have been doing in our operation to uphold that commitment. At the airport, to promote a more hygienic airport experience, we have placed hand sanitisers in key areas such as check-in counters, gates and lounges. We also have constant reminders about the importance of hand washing. Before a flight if a customer who appears unwell attempts to check-in or board an aircraft, our agents will make inquiries of the customer in regard to their health. This can include consultation with our own medical desk and/or a third-party health provider. If they are unfit to travel, they will not be permitted to board. In the air, our aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters which effectively capture 99.9 per cent of particulate from re-calculated air in the aircraft cabin. This includes microbial organisms such as bacteria and viruses. These filters are similar to those used in hospital rooms and like those in hospital rooms, they refresh the cabin air every two to three minutes. Coronaviruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning and sanitization. Air Canada uses cleaning products, including hospital-grade disinfectants which have a wide-spectrum microbial activity and are proven effective against human coronavirus. In response to market demand and extensive quarantine decisions, we’ve temporarily suspended or reduced service to more impacted areas such as the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy. We will continue to adapt our schedule and route network as developments unfold. For those of you with upcoming travel, we announced a flexible rebooking policy for existing bookings by allowing a free one-time change. We also want to give you more freedom to travel and book with confidence, which is why we’re waiving change fees on new bookings as well.” The airline is offering a one-time change fee waiver will apply to tickets purchased between March 4 and March 31, 2020 provided all travel is completed before December 31, 2020.
Flying to Bermuda from New York, Miami and Philadelphia. Main office is at L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda., 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. Telephone Reservations & Information at 1-800-622-1015 or fax 1-441-293 1270. Air Cargo (441) 293-1972; Baggage (441) 293-3073.
Merged from 2013 with US Airways. It began daily non-stop service between Bermuda and New York (JFK) on September 8, 1975. That first Bermuda flight on American was a Boeing 707 from Boston's Logan International (BOS). It has been flying to Bermuda ever since. Now-defunct US Airways, merged into American Airlines with the final end of the merger in October 2015, when still Allegheny, began its services to Bermuda on June 1, 1989, flying from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) to Bermuda and Philadelphia. Now Bermuda's most frequent carrier, with some services daily year round.
2020. March 13. American Airlines. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Robert Isom, president of American Airlines, said in a statement the airline is working closely with US and international authorities to make sure they have up-to-date safety information. He said: “To provide you with more flexibility and control, we have waived change fees for tickets purchased prior to March 1 for travel through April 30. If you buy summer travel now and have to change your plans later, we have waived those change fees as well. We also continue to adjust our schedule to provide you as much certainty as possible as you plan your travel with us. This week we announced several additional schedule changes to our Asia, Europe, South America and domestic network. Know that when we make these changes, our goal is to minimise the disruption to your lives. If your travel plans are disrupted, we will continue to make sure that you are re-accommodated and taken care of while we work through this period of uncertainty. You can always visit aa.com for the latest information from American, and if you need to change your travel plans, you can do so via our website and mobile app.” He added that AA cleaning practices have always “met or exceeded” CDC standards, but the airline has increased cleaning procedures on international flights and aircraft that stay overnight at an airport. Mr Isom said: “Every one of our planes receives enhanced cleaning at least once a day and an extensive cleaning on a regular basis. Most of our aircraft are also equipped with high efficiency particulate air filters that provide a complete air change every two to four minutes during flight, which is similar to the standard used in hospitals. We have provisioned hand sanitiser and hand sanitiser wipes, and we are regularly disinfecting our airport kiosks.”
Only service to Bermuda from London Heathrow (was Gatwick until March 2020). Front Street City of Hamilton ticketing office is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also at L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda, 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. Telephone toll free 1 - 800 AIRWAYS (1-800-247-9297) for automated services 24 hours daily including fares, schedules, flight arrivals, departure times. Local telephone numbers are Airport Customer and Baggage Service (441) 293-1944; Executive Office (441) 295-0710; and Sales Manager (441) 296-2031.
No airline has linked Bermuda to the outside world for longer. It began services to Bermuda on May 18, 1937 - see Bermuda Aviation - as Imperial Airways with a survey flight on May 25, the first passenger carrying flight on June 8 and official inaugural flight on June 12, via flying boat G-ADUU RMA "Cavalier" shipped to Bermuda in parts from Britain, then re-assembled by Imperial's engineers. It and Pan American World Airways - now gone - were the original pioneers of commercial air services to Bermuda. It once flew between Bermuda, New York and Miami and Bermuda to the Caribbean. It began flying in UK in 1919 as Daimler Air Hire, then Daimler Airway. Handley Page Transport was added to the stable, then Instone Air Line and British Marine Air Navigation (BMAN). The amalgamated service became Imperial Airways in 1924 and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) in 1939, then British Airways again.
2020. March 13. British Airways. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A spokesman said: “We fully understand that many of our customers want to change their travel plans given the evolving Covid-19 situation, so we have put a number of measures in place so that you can book with confidence with British Airways. We are giving additional levels of flexibility to customers with bookings made between March 3 and 31, 2020. If you need to change the travel date on your booking, we are waiving all change fees (a fare difference may apply). This applies to any British Airways flight, in any cabin, whether booked directly with us or through a travel agent. If you need to cancel your flight, we will give you a voucher to the value of that flight which can be used across the British Airways network up to 12 months from the original date of departure. (Changes exclude franchise airlines Comair and Sun-Air) The cleanliness of our aircraft is of utmost importance. We have reviewed and made changes to our cleaning programme for aircraft including increasing our cleaning teams and audit inspections. Our disinfectant cleaning fluids are used on every aircraft after each flight to thoroughly clean all hard surfaces in the cabins and lavatories. All our aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters which remove particulate and bacterial contamination and provide passengers with clean air. They provide the same level of air filtration as hospital operating theatres.” British Airways has also cancelled flights to Beijing and Shanghai, China, reduced flights to Seoul, South Korea and Hong Kong. The spokesman added: “One daily round trip flight from Heathrow to JFK in New York has been cancelled and the vast majority of cancellations are 342 short-haul flights from Heathrow. From Gatwick, BA is canceling 14 destinations to northern Italy, France and Albania.” The airline’s chief commercial officer Andrew Brem said: “As some customers may choose to change or delay their travel plans at the moment, it is important that we offer them greater flexibility. By waiving the change fee our customers can have added confidence to book a trip with British Airways that suits them.”
Passengers who can afford it should seriously consider going at least Premium Economy for a vastly more enjoyable flight with far better comfort, better seat pitch, leg room, food and service. BA's single most profitable route is this Bermuda run, with the added bonus of no competition from Virgin Atlantic or any other, unlike in BA's other routes.
Flying to and from UK, its Air Passenger Duty (APD) Tax applicable to Bermudians and residents
Tax per passenger per single flight in Economy Class (Standard rate) and Premium Economy/Business Class (Higher rate). From/to Bermuda and UK. To other parts of the world from Bermuda via UK. Bermuda is in Band B (2001-4000 miles). For BD$ equivalents use foreign exchange rates applicable at time of purchase.
|Destination bands||Reduced rate||Standard rate||Higher rate|
|Destination bands||Reduced rate||Standard rate||Higher rate|
L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda. 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. There is also a City of Hamilton ticketing office. Delta flies from the USA to the Caribbean, UK and beyond.
Still as North East Airlines - before it changed its name - it inaugurated its Bermuda service in March, 1969, from Boston.
2020. March 13. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A notice on the airline’s website said: “Nothing is more important to us than your safety. We have adjusted flight schedules to affected areas, waived change fees and are working with customers to adjust travel plans, using relationships with other airlines when needed.” Change fees for all tickets purchased in March for travel before February 25, 2021 have been waived. There will also be no change fees for those who were booked to travel between March 1 and April 30, 2020. The notice continued: “We have consulted with the CDC, WHO and other health organisations to ensure we follow, and in many cases exceed, their guidance on health precautions related to coronavirus. Our aircraft cleaning teams are trained to meet Delta’s high cleanliness standards to provide our customers with a safe and comfortable experience. Delta uses an EPA-registered disinfectant on all flights which is rated to combat many communicable diseases. Fogging procedures are being performed on all trans-Pacific flights arriving into the US We are working rapidly and have sourced additional machines to expand fogging to inbound international flights, prioritizing trans-Atlantic inbound flights from markets with reported coronavirus cases.”
Flying to Bermuda between JFK New York and Boston.
L. F Wade International
Airport, Bermuda. (1-800-538-2583) or 1-801-
365-2583, if calling from
2020. March 13. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A JetBlue spokesman said: “While all of JetBlue’s aircraft operate in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America, we have activated our company’s Pandemic Response Team to monitor the situation in real time and work with key stakeholders to determine any further action. Members of our team are working directly with health and security officials as well as industry groups, including Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association for updates and best practices. Currently, we are stepping up our daily aircraft sanitation and cleaning procedures on our aircraft, adding disinfecting wipes for customers to use on-board, and more frequently sanitising common surfaces in our terminals. We are also promoting hand washing and healthy hygiene practices among our crew members and adhering to requirements and guidance from public health officials. Jet Blue announced that it would suspend change and cancel fees for bookings made between March 6, 2020 and March 31, 2020 for travel through September 8, 2020. Change/cancel fees for customers who had previously booked to travel between March 10, 2020 and April 30, 2020 have also been waived.
Flying seasonally (April or May through September) to Bermuda, only from Newark.
L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda, 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. Bermuda.
A subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Inc. formerly UAL Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Chicago.
L. F Wade International Airport, Bermuda, 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. Bermuda.
Began direct services to and from Bermuda in May 2010. A Canadian low-cost carrier based in Calgary, Alberta. It flies from Canada to the USA, Mexico, Bahamas and Caribbean. The second largest Canadian carrier behind Air Canada.
2020. March 20. Offered to waive fees for flight changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A spokesman said: “Safety is WestJet’s top priority and we are committed to providing our guests and WestJetters a safe travel and work environment. We have provided proactive communications to all employee groups on effective preventive measures as recommended by the Centres for Disease Control, WHO and Transport Canada. We are monitoring the Coronavirus issue closely and will make decisions on operations with the safety of our guests and our crew at the forefront. WestJet is currently experiencing limited impact on our operations and bookings, particularly as we do not fly to Asia directly. However we have seen isolated cancellations on certain flights, which has had limited impact on our overall guest loads at this time. At this point we have not made any changes to planned flight schedules, but continue to monitor the situation. We have implemented the following flexible change policy for our guests for all new bookings made between now and March 31, 2020. All new flight bookings made between March 3, 2020 and March 31, 2020 will be allowed a one-time change fee waiver. The one-time change fee waiver is available for any itinerary change made more than 24 hours from departure. Should a guest present ill or fall ill during travel, our frontline teams and crews are trained to handle multiple scenarios and situations that can arise on the ground or on-board our aircraft and have access to real-time support of physicians at MedAire when requested.”
The Bermuda Government has recently significantly reduced its Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) liability, through which airlines are guaranteed a minimum return for their service. Every year, the Bermuda Government and its taxpayers pay out $ millions to international airlines serving Bermuda companies to cover the cost of Bermuda flights. They do so because failure to make revenue guarantee deals with airlines would mean losing Bermuda routes. Small islands and countries not attracting a million or more visitors every year have a challenge getting flights. The payouts are part of the cost of doing business. Bermuda offers most airlines a minimum revenue guarantee which kicks in when airlines serving Bermuda and their volume of passengers don’t make industry-level returns. Such deals are understood to be common elsewhere when facing similar shortfalls. Cutting deals with airlines is not optional, it's either that, or lose the route. It's up to Bermuda not the airlines to increase the numbers of people getting on those flights. Jurisdictions like Bermuda with these minimum revenue guarantees have to hope their marketing will bring in the people. The Bermuda Government pays out an annual $2 million-plus subsidy to airlines when they fail to meet their revenue projections in accordance with the minimum revenue agreements Government entered into with airlines flying to Bermuda dating back to 2007. Airlines have a uniform policy of building into their fares structure wherever they go a standard formula for their cost of doing business there. They use a system based on net operating ratio per territory they cover, with the relevant impact on net operating revenues and net operating expenses. In airport user charges and taxes and fuel costs for refueling locally, they pay vastly more per square mile for a place of Bermuda's total geographical size for their airport and city offices and other services than anywhere else they go. Plus, operating costs and staffing etc. expenses are much higher than elsewhere. Economies of scale in terms of numbers of passengers per airline flying to and from Bermuda don't exist, with Bermuda's total number of visitors by air - spread among all the airlines flying here - totaling less than 450,000 flights a year combined among all the airlines, compared to millions in some other jurisdictions.
Last Updated: May
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