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Graphic, Bermuda Tourism. 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 airline arrivals and departures are from mostly US East Coast cities.
By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online
To refer to this web file, please use "bermuda-online.org/airlines.htm" as your Subject.
Aircraft apron in Bermuda
Why not? There's not enough consumer and/or business demand to justify the costs and frequency of flights between Bermuda and the Caribbean. Bermuda subsidizes airlines flying to and from Bermuda and may not wish to dilute their effect on Bermuda by seeing them go to competing jurisdictions. Those other islands also subsidize their flights and don't wish to share them for similar reasons. Most tourists and businesspeople want to get from A to B directly and as fast as possible, not via other jurisdictions. Landing slots and principal markets from where airlines fly to Bermuda may also be factors. Bermuda gets 85% or so of its tourists from the USA, 5% from Canada, 4% from the UK and rest of the world combined. Business practicalities in ways outlined above likely rule the airlines and where they go. Yes, many years ago, until about the 1960s, British Airways operated a flight between London, Bermuda and Barbados but what was practical and profitable then is not the case now. Bermuda's present BA service is always full as Bermuda is a world international business insurance centre and for this alone is probably hugely more profitable than its pre-1960s service from London to Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Bermuda should not suffer any reduction in flights to and from the US as a result of a mega-deal merger between American Airlines and US Airways. Currently both carriers connect the Island to five separate US cities. Neither flies on the same route, making it less likely that a service will be consolidated as a result of a $11 billion merger, which is in its final stages of negotiation. The new entity will retain the American Airlines name and become the world’s biggest carrier with annual revenue of $38.69 billion based on 2012 figures. Bermuda is likely to see minimal change, if any, to the services it presently enjoys from the two airlines. American Airlines currently connects the Island to New York and Miami, while US Airways links Bermuda to Philadelphia, Charlotte and Washington. A spokesman for American Airlines said: “At this time, we have no plans to reduce service. The service these two carriers provide into Bermuda are not duplicative. The goal of the merger is to provide additional service for our valued customers. These two examples [of separate cities being served] are exactly part of the synergy this merger provides. While we do not speculate on future pricing, Bermuda’s service by both carriers today remains very competitive.” Doug Parker, chief executive of US Airways, will run the new airline. He said: “One of the really nice things is how complementary the route networks are. Of the 900 routes, only 12 have any overlap, which is phenomenal. We are going to need to keep all the hubs in place, the cities we fly to we will need to continue to fly to.” It is estimated the new airline will generate $900 million of additional revenue and benefit from savings of around $150 million. American is currently the third largest US airline, while US Airways is the fifth. Together they will eclipse the world’s current number one carrier United Continental, with an estimated annual revenue of $38.69 billion more than $1.5 billion ahead of their biggest rival. American Airlines CEO Tom Horton is to become the chairman of the new airline. He said the airlines do not expect to have to divest any assets to secure US antitrust approval, or to have difficulty winning endorsement from the European Union competition regulators. Whether or not prices will rise as a direct result of the merger remains to be seen. Analysts point to the past mergers between Delta and Northwest, and United Airlines and Continental, which did result in price rises on some routes. The new airline plans to take delivery of 607 new aircraft, including 517 narrow-body aircraft and 90 wide-body international aircraft, most of which will be equipped with advanced in-seat in-flight entertainment systems, in-flight Wi-Fi, and four to six inches of additional legroom. Combining of the two carriers to form a new American, should mean that loyalty programme members have more opportunities to earn and redeem miles from an expanded global network of routes and partnerships. Until the two airlines are officially merged, each company’s frequent-flier programmes will continue to earn benefits for passengers as normal. Details of a consolidation of the programmes will be given at a later date, the companies said. American will remain in the Oneworld airline marketing group that includes British Airways. US airways is a member of the Star Alliance led by United.
In February 2013 it was announced that with air passenger numbers flagging, the Bermuda Government had to pay out millions to airline companies to cover the cost of North American routes in 2011 and 2012. Canadian airline WestJet alone received more than $3.6 million in three separate payments made between August 2011 and June 2012. In February 2012, American Airlines was given $361,536 to cover a revenue shortfall for the fiscal year ending November, 2011. The figures emerged in Government’s Consolidated Fund financial statements covering the year up to March 31, 2012. Former Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said last night that failure to make revenue guarantee deals with airlines would mean losing routes. WestJet received $1.26 million in August, 2011, to cover shortfalls in its guaranteed revenue from November, 2010 through April, 2011. The following February, the company was paid a further $1 million for May through October, 2011. Bermuda simultaneously sealed agreements with both WestJet and American to guarantee revenues on their flights to the Island. In November, 2011, WestJet agreed to run a daily Toronto flight through April, 2012, while American Airlines signed on for one year to link Bermuda with Miami International Airport, to end in November, 2012. In June 2012, Bermuda paid WestJet an additional $1.45 million to cover shortcomings for the winter 2011 revenue guarantee. Acknowledging that countries like Bermuda have “a challenge getting flights here”, Mr Furbert described the payouts as “just part of the cost of doing business. What we have in place is a minimum revenue guarantee, which kicks in when the airlines don’t make that certain particular load." Mr Furbert said such deals were common across the Caribbean and around the world. He added: “We entered the contracts with WestJet because we were trying to bring down the cost of travel to Bermuda. As a result, arrivals with Air Canada went up. But now the new Minister [Shawn Crockwell] has a bigger challenge this year, because Air Canada is pulling back to three days a week. And that’s during the height of the season. But Mr Crockwell is the Minister of Tourism and Transport, so he can potentially go and negotiate better arrangements.” Cutting deals with airlines wasn’t optional, the Shadow Tourism Minister added. “It’s either that, or lose the route. Now it’s up to us to increase the numbers of people getting on those flights. I am sorry to see that Air Canada has pulled back to three days. That may have an impact — loads may go down and prices will go up. That would kill some of our market up there. Now we have to get our advertising moving to get rid of our payouts. That’s the challenge. You enter these minimum revenue guarantees and hope your marketing will bring in the people.” Air Canada is trimming its daily service in anticipation of future demand, the company announced last week. New Tourism Board chairman David Dodwell last night declined to comment, deferring to Mr Crockwell.
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 the 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 400,000 a year, compared to millions in some other jurisdictions.
Airlines flying from Bermuda are not required under Bermuda law, as they are required in the UK since January 2008 and Europe earlier under their laws, to include compulsory taxes and charges in their headline prices.
Bermuda has no airline of its own - although this was not always the case - see Bermuda's Aviation Pioneers. The last one was Eagle Airlines (Bermuda) Ltd in the late 1950s.
It is NOT in the Caribbean. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) refers to it rightly as in North America. Bermuda is 568 miles east of North Carolina, 693 miles south east of New York (with direct daily connections by air), 729 miles south of Nova Scotia (with a seasonal once-weekly direct connection by air), 770 miles south east of Boston (with a direct daily connection by air), 788 miles north east of Nassau (no direct connection by air but via the USA), 1115 miles south east of Toronto (with a direct daily connection by air), 1290 miles north of Puerto Rico (no direct connection by air but via the USA), 2055 miles from Winnipeg (no direct connection by air but via Toronto) and 2996 miles from London, England (with a direct six times a week in summer and three times a week in winter connection by air).
There are no commercial scheduled direct flights between Bermuda and any of the Caribbean islands. Going via the USA or Canada are the only ways.
Some are daily year-round, others are seasonal (usually May to October). For reviews and information on their airline cabins see http://www.airlinequality.com
AirTran Airways. From Baltimore/Washington from April 7 2012 and Atlanta (ATL) from May 26, 2012.
Delta Air Lines. Daily from William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport (ATL), General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS) and New York La Guardia (LGA).
United Airlines. Daily from Philadelphia (PHL) to Bermuda.
WestJet Airlines. To/from Toronto, seasonal.
Air charters from USA to Bermuda
Air charters from Bermuda
Air Cargo. For a list of such services see under "Air Cargo" in Employers.
Bermuda International Airport closes at night after the last flight. Under no circumstances are any passengers allowed to sleep there overnight. When it closes, all facilities - restrooms, etc. - close as well. Security guards enforce the closure. All are expected to go home or to an hotel.
There are no airport jet ways in Bermuda so passengers in wheelchairs or who have mobility problems and cannot mount and dismount aircraft steps unaided should ask ahead of time for airline assistance when arriving and departing.
All passengers pay both these, built into the cost of their tickets. In 2008, the Bermuda Government's Miscellaneous Taxes (Rates) Amendment Act increased the rate of departure tax for all visitors and residents from $25 to $35 per person. Bermuda has by far and away the highest Departure Tax in the world per square mile - now US$1.66 per square mile of Bermuda's 21 square miles.
When these are shown below or are part of airline policy now, note they are the sum of length plus width plus height. Be aware that some low-cost airlines may have much higher than average costs than the premium-cost airlines. For example, in carrying modes of transport for young children, or wheelchairs for the physically handicapped (disabled), or golf clubs for the sports-minded.
pitch is the space between your seat and the one in front of and behind yours, for
hip, leg and face room.
It is shown separately below for each airline.
Airline maker is not responsible as individual airlines configure the interiors.
For more information, go to http://www.uk-air.net/seatpitch.htm
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 once offered daily year-round service but recently reduced it to high-seasonal non stop Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday service to and from Toronto and a weekly (until March 16, 2013) seasonal flight to and from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Air Canada will now, from May 2013, fly to Bermuda from Toronto only on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It reduced the schedule in response to the route performance and expected future demand. Starting on June 27, 2013, however, the airline will add one additional flight on Tuesday for the summer months and revert to three times a week in September. Flight times will be departing Bermuda at 1:10pm, arriving in Toronto at 3:05pm and departing Toronto at 8:30am, arriving in Bermuda at 12:10pm. The flights are operated with an Airbus 319.
The executive office (open Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) is at the Bermuda International Airport, 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. The City of Hamilton ticketing office is at Windsor Place, Church, Queen and Reid Streets, Hamilton, open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
|Acceptable/Good (generally 32"-34" on 2-hour Bermuda flights) for hip, leg and face room for a journey of 2 hours or less.|
Daily in-season service from/to Baltimore/Washington (from April 7, 2012) and Atlanta (from May 26, 2012). AirTran competes with Delta Air Lines on the Atlanta route. When services to Bermuda started in 2011 with the Baltimore and Atlanta flights, they boosted tourism from the southern US significantly. For the inaugural flight, local dignitaries lined up to welcome passengers including the 20 Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders. Dressed in red and black hot pants, they arrived waving their glittery pom poms. In 2011, Southwest acquired Orlando-based AirTran, the second-largest carrier in Atlanta. AirTran continues to operate under its own name and teal-coloured tail until the planes are converted to Southwest’s red, orange and blue scheme. Most 2012 Bermuda flights will remain AirTran-branded, but will eventually be converted to the Southwest brand. Southwest allows passengers to choose their own seats and it offers only economy class. When Southwest takes over the flying, its brand strengths will come along with the service - open seating, no fees for changing travel plans, no fees for first or second checked bag per customer, satellite-delivered Wi-Fi, instead of AirTran's air-to-ground based Wi-Fi. Southwest charges from $5 for its Wi-Fi, while AirTran offers Gogo Wi-Fi service for $4.95 to $12.95 per flight, depending on the length of the flight.
Merger in 2013 with US Airways. It began daily non-stop service between Bermuda and New York (JFK) on September 8, 1975. It was when Pan American World Airways (which began flights to Bermuda in 1936 but no longer exists) and American Airlines agreed to orchestrate an airline route swap, whereby American would service Bermuda and certain Caribbean destinations (but not necessarily to and from each other) and Pan Am would service Hawaii and certain Pacific destinations (as Pan Am once did much earlier). That first Bermuda flight on American was a Boeing 707 from Boston's General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS). It has been flying to Bermuda ever since. At Bermuda International Airport is 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish, telephone (441) 293-0938 or fax (441) 293-1000. The City of Hamilton ticketing office is at the Russell Eve Building, 21 Church Street, Hamilton, open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday 9am-1pm. Other telephone numbers are Passenger Reservations & Information 1 (800)-433-7300 or (441) 293-1420; Airport Passenger Services (441) 293-1556; Air Cargo & Freight Information & Pickup (441) 293-2100; Accounting Office (441) 293-1700; Marketing (441) 292-4743. Has received a Bermuda Government airline subsidy.
|Very Good. (33"-35"on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less. The best of all airlines serving Bermuda in seat pitch.|
Presently, providing the only airline service between Bermuda and the UK and Bermuda and Europe via the UK, thus this extensive profile. 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.
A Front Street City of Hamilton ticketing office is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also at Bermuda International Airport, 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. But there may be quite a wait before you reach an airline agent. Bermuda manager is Marianne Wilcox. Local telephone numbers are Airport Customer and Baggage Service (441) 293-1944; Executive Office (441) 295-0710; and Sales Manager (441) 296-2031.
Bermuda is one of BA's long-haul destinations. It is the only airline with once-daily high-season and from October 2009 six times a week weekly (except Mondays) low-season non-stop direct flights on its 6.5 to 7.5 hours flights (depending on going west from the UK or going east to the UK) to and from Bermuda and London, England (Gatwick), see see http://www.gatwickairport.com/, the UK's second-biggest airport, via its fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft. BA Fares to Bermuda from London are always substantially more than BA fares from Bermuda to London, also hugely more than BA fares from London to the USA, further away by air but on a much more competitive and frequent route. It has one of the highest fuel surcharges per passenger in the world. The mere 31 inches of seat pitch in BA Economy - compared to at least 33 inches of seat pitch on American airlines - turns into an uncomfortable and stressful flight, especially for the genuinely physically challenged (disabled) with substantial long-term balance mobility problems and seniors needing quick, easy and frequent access to the washrooms. Making the cramped conditions in Economy even worse is the fact that flights between Bermuda and London at popular times, such as before and after Christmas and any time in June, July, August and September are invariably full, so full that it is manifestly impossible to do any of the anti Deep Vein Thrombosis exercises the airline recommends. If you are in Economy and are trying to read a magazine or work - for example, trying to use a lap top computer - forget it completely if the seat ahead of you is reclined. Being seated in the middle of a long row in these conditions can be a nightmare. Economy Class seats are usually full to the brim and for those in this class the seating, flight and cramped areas for movement are not pleasant, especially when young children or infants are crying or screaming in the two front rows of economy, where they and their accompanying parent or parents are invariably given priority in seating. Quality of food has declined noticeably. With the airline having made huge losses in recent months to June 2010, some food onboard in Economy, such as breakfast en route to the UK from Bermuda, is best left untouched.
But there is a bright side, for passengers who can afford it. They should seriously consider going Premium Economy or Business Class or First Class for what will then probably be a vastly more enjoyable flight with far better comfort, better seat pitch, leg room, food and service, no noise from wailing children, quicker entry and exit, shorter immigration lines of arrival and more. Under these circumstances the sheer quality of BA service on Premium Economy, Business Class or First Class in far nicer human and aircraft conditions will be far better, much appreciated and should lead to an enjoyable flight. The latter three classes and Bermuda's reputation as an international business centre with BA much-used by international businesses based in Bermuda or with offices here are the principal reasons why this is considered by the UK's financial newspapers and magazines to be one of BA's single most profitable routes, with the added bonus of no competition from Virgin Atlantic and others, unlike in BA's other routes. Some UK residents with sons or daughters living or working in Bermuda have stated they pay much more for their BA fares when flying out to see them than passengers originating in and returning to Bermuda. But this may vary from time to time and season.
BA staff have the highest salaries and most generous perks of any airline. For senior staff the latter include one completely free trip a year to anywhere in the world. All staff get 90% off the full fare on any flight although they are on standby and can be bumped off full flights. Married staff can take family members on 90% and 100% reduction flights. Those who are unmarried can nominate two other people to accompany them for the same discounts. Staff and/or family-friends get first preference for bulkhead seats if flying Economy is their only realistic option. The concessions are also available to former BA staff for a number of years after they have left BA and retirees from BA and their families including grandchildren. (Source, Daily Telegraph, March 20, 2010, page 4 News).
|Excellent ( 38" on Bermuda flights on a 777 via World Traveller Plus) for a long haul journey of 7.5 hours to Bermuda and 6.5 hours from Bermuda. Economy Class seats - in terms of width - are better than on any other airline serving Bermuda.|
The World Traveller Plus has its own dedicated cabin with 40 seats, all equipped within-seat power and telephones. With an additional seven inches of legroom and wider seats, you have the space and comfort to relax or work in-flight.
|Bad (only 31" on Bermuda flights on a 777) for a long haul journey of 7.5 hours to Bermuda and 6.5 hours from Bermuda. Economy Class seats in seat pitch are the worst of any airline serving Bermuda.|
It began flying to Bermuda in May, 1999. For Reservations and Information, telephone toll-free 1-800-231-0856 or in Bermuda at (441) 293-3092.
|Acceptable. (32" on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less.|
Still as North East Airlines - before it changed its name - it inaugurated its Bermuda service in March, 1969, from Boston. For a while it had a direct flight between Bermuda and Hartford, Connecticut. In May 2012 it was announced that commencing April 2013 Delta will also offer daily year-round service between New York (LaGuardia) and Bermuda. The airline announced the new flights to Bermuda were part of an expanded service out of New York that would also include additional transport to destinations in the Caribbean and Florida. Delta's 2013 Delta’s flights between Bermuda and LaGuardia begin April 8. The flights leave LaGuardia at 9.55am, arriving in Bermuda at 1.05pm. They leave the Island at 2.05pm, landing at LaGuardia at 3.40pm. Delta's office is at Bermuda International Airport, 3 Cahow Way, St. George's Parish. There is also a City of Hamilton ticketing office.
|Acceptable. (32"on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less.|
(1-800-538-2583) or 1-801-
365-2583, if calling from
|Acceptable. (32" on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less. Was 33" until September 2012.|
United Air Lines, Inc., operating as United Airlines, is the world's largest airline in terms of number of destinations. It is a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Inc. formerly UAL Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Chicago. United's largest hub is George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world, and offers connections to over 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries worldwide.Daily from Philadelphia (PHL) to Bermuda. Has been a frequent seasonal carrier to Bermuda in the past. Local office is at 3 Cahow Way, Bermuda. Has received a Bermuda Government airline subsidy.
Merger in 2013 with American Airlines thence to carry American's name. When still known as Allegheny, US Airways 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 and other seasonal. Once - in 1994 - it also flew from Bermuda to Pittsburgh, PA via a stop in Baltimore-Washington. It offers more non-stop seasonal flights between Bermuda and USA than any other airline. Main office is at Bermuda International Airport, 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.
|Acceptable/Good (32"-34"on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less.|
Began services to Bermuda in May 2010. A Canadian low-cost carrier based in Calgary, Alberta. It flies within Canada, to the USA, Mexico, Bahamas and Caribbean. The second largest Canadian carrier behind Air Canada. Non-unionized A public company with over 7,500 employees and 1.2 billion USD market capitalization. Has received the Bermuda Government airline subsidy last amounting to $500,000.
|Acceptable. (32" on Bermuda flights) for a journey of 2 hours or less. Was much better, 34", until September 2012.|
From cities shown in USA, Canada and United Kingdom.
On arrival, passengers go through Bermuda Immigration and Customs.
In Bermuda (unlike in UK) Customs are not Green Zone - Nothing to Declare or Red Zone - Something to Declare - but more tedious and with queues (lines) at both Immigration (if visiting do not take line reserved for Bermudians only) and Customs.
Note that some flights are seasonal.
To cities shown. Refer to airlines for any changes.
USA-bound passengers go through US Customs & Immigration pre-clearance in Bermuda.
Fights shown are in order of time of departure, to help persons taking them to the airport, or taxi owners and operators, or local mini-bus services for departing passengers.
Departing passengers should check in to the airline ticket counter two hours before their departure times, to avoid being refused if they arrive too late to be questioned, screened and processed. Passengers going to Britain or Canada will encounter Immigration and Customs clearance when they arrive in London or Toronto. In the United Kingdom, if a spouse has a UK national passport, an accompanying husband or wife who is not a UK national may also go through the UK and European Community lanes instead of the far more lengthy other Immigration lanes.
December 7, 2013.
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