A Bermudian-owned airline is closer to official take-off after being given the green light by US authorities.

BermudAir, which plans to provide daily flights to New York, along with additional air links to Boston and Florida, was granted a licence by the US Department of Transportation this week, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

The US approval represents the last major hurdle that the fledgeling airline has to clear before it is deemed fit to take to the air.

Speculation that BermudAir’s launch was imminent was fuelled by a press conference last month, when company founder Adam Scott revealed that the airline had been granted an Air Operating Certificate by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority.

It later emerged that BermudAir lawyers were pressing US regulators to push through approvals for the airline to operate out of the US.

This week, trade publication FlightGlobal reported that the airline had been “tentatively awarded” the US licence.

Yesterday, a source close to the company confirmed that US approval had been granted.

The source emphasised that there were still other administrative boxes that needed to be ticked before the airline could make its inaugural flight.

The company has leased two Embraer E175 jets to facilitate its flights to the US East Coast.

Typically, an E175 can accommodate 88 passengers travelling economy, but BermudAir’s two aircraft have been stripped down to just 30 seats each.

The airline is appealing to the well-heeled passenger willing to pay top rates for luxury travel.

Mr Scott, a Canadian who earned his fortune with Goldman Sachs, has a 50 per cent stake in the company.

Company documents reveal that high-profile Bermudians also have an interest in the firm, including the Gibbons family and reinsurance supremo Brian O’Hara.

At last month’s press conference, Mr Scott stressed that the airline will maintain a Bermudian “flavour” of service and quality.

He said: “We’ll provide something that’s new and unique that’s going to be most relevant for the Bermuda market.

“The critical thing here is that we’re the first airline that is centred in Bermuda. Bermuda is at the centre of everything we do.”

Source: The Royal Gazette

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