BermudAir is adjusting its plan for an all-business-class configuration and opting for more of a hybrid model.

“Yes, the rumours are correct,” company chief executive Adam Scott said. “We are adjusting the interior to accommodate a certain number of economy seats.”

“This will make us accessible to a much wider audience going forward.”

The airline was originally set to change the configuration of its two Embraer 175s to 1×1 seating from the standard 2×2 seating after a short introductory period. It is now planning for a mix of the two.

Economy-class seats will be adjusted slightly from standard to give them more pitch.

Exactly how many seats is still to be decided, but Mr Scott said the jets are to be retrofitted at the end of November for a December 1 roll-out. At present they fly with 88 seats, though only half the seats are sold for each flight.

“We obviously built this business in record time. We launched in less than eight months. So we are learning. We are taking on board feedback that we have had from Bermuda, that we have had from our guests,” he said.

“There’s been a slight pivot of the plan. It’s a really good indication of just how nimble and flexible we can be.”

Scott added that some corporate flyers said that they were unable to fully expense business-class travel on short-haul routes, making BermudAir less attractive to these passengers.

“Both aircraft will be dual-class. The expectation is that this will remain on our future aircraft as well,” he added.

“It’s a good pivot for us to react to our evolving understanding of the market.”

In general, Mr Scott is pleased with the performance of the airline so far. He noted that on a recent flight to Fort Lauderdale, the load factor was 91 per cent.

“The uptake has been phenomenal. We started with single-digit load factors. We are routinely having flights now that are at well over 50 per cent, and that is awesome for this stage in our evolution.”

“Fort Lauderdale has really overachieved. We are really pleased with that.”

Mr Scott said that he has been hearing a lot from passengers in terms of where they would like to see BermudAir fly, with Washington DC, Baltimore, Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Chicago high on the wish lists.

BermudAir took to the air on September 1. It is now flying to three destinations — Fort Lauderdale, Westchester County Airport and Boston — with two leased aircraft.

Pricing started during an introductory period at about $500 return, and was to go up to about $2,000 once that period ended and the 30-seat, all-business-class configuration became a reality.

The airline is now pricing tickets to Westchester County Airport at about $600 return for “economy light” class. Business-class tickets are priced at about $1,550 for the same route.

The airline is starting to get its tickets listed on electronic services such as Skyscanner and Expedia.

Source: The Royal Gazette

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