BAA & Skyport On JetBlue, Air Service & More

January 13, 2022

Bermuda’s Air Service Development Team continues to engage directly with “existing carriers serving Bermuda in addition to other airlines in order to develop sustainable air service,” the Bermuda Airport Authority said, while Skyport said it is “imperative” that we do all we can to “bolster our air passenger recovery rate.”

The comments follow after news that JetBlue has reduced the flight schedule from New York to Bermuda, which the airline is reportedly making into a “summer seasonal” route.  Bernews asked both the Bermuda Airport Authority and Skyport for comment and the replies follow below.

Bermuda Airport Authority [BAA] CEO Lester Nelson 

Mr. Nelson told Bernews, “Jet Blue’s decision regarding their JFK and Boston flights to Bermuda was anticipated. As the Minister of Transport has previously stated, this decision is due to low demand during the off season.

“JetBlue continues to provide service from JFK and the Boston flight will resume this spring. Our Air Service Develop Team, which includes the Ministries of Tourism and Transport, the Tourism Authority, Skyport and the Airport Authority continues to engage directly with the senior leadership of existing carriers serving Bermuda in addition to other airlines, in order to develop sustainable air service that meets the Island’s needs.

“Late last year or team and air service development consultant also engaged Bermuda stakeholders in the hospitality and local and international business sectors to support our ongoing strategy and to address the overriding issues affecting demand for air travel to Bermuda.

“Additional announcements on Air Service Development will be made in the upcoming weeks.”

Skyport President Aaron Adderley 

Aaron Adderley told Bernews, “The news, while disappointing, is not surprising. Airlines are acting decisively in the midst of the pandemic, to readjust their networks and we can anticipate further adjustments moving forward.

“However, it is imperative that we do all we can in the meantime to bolster our air passenger recovery rate. The total number of air passengers in 2021 was less than a third of 2019 levels. That is simply not sustainable for the airport, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.

“Our airline partners have already advised that they’ve seen destinations like Bermuda with strict Covid travel protocols lag far behind those with less prohibitive protocols in place.

“In addition to a streamlining of border entry requirements, getting the Fairmont Southampton Hotel property back online as soon as possible, are absolutely critical to Bermuda recapturing the optimum number of air passengers and ultimately safeguarding our air service options.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. Health is wealth says:

    We will not be lowering our standards for the sake of the airlines. We are not willing to put the people of Bermuda in harms way for the sake of the dollar. Furthermore people will find the island far more attractive if we control the spread of this disease. So they can attempt to put the squeeze on us but the Grace of God is moving faster than the spread of Covid so there is nothing to fear on our end.

    • Truthhertz says:

      “We are not willing to put the people of Bermuda in harms way for the sake of the dollar.”

      Easy to say when you’re not personally impacted.

  2. letmetry says:

    Caricom countries have planes right? Any chance on hooking up with one of them brothers to lease jets and put our flag on the tail? Should ask mommy first, we don’t want another uighuer event

    • sandgrownan says:

      Running an airline is a very complex business with marginal returns.

      DO you really think, in a country where we can’t even get a bus schedule, the civil service could oversee an airline! Besides, we cant afford it. If you hadn’t noticed, Bermuda is broke.

      Why do you think Weldon was told to lay people off despite the overwhelming demand for test results.

      • VIP says:

        She wasn’t told to lay them off. Their contracts expire around Christmas time when the civil services personnel that renew the contracts were on holiday.

        • SandgrownAn says:

          Ah, so it was just sheer incompetence then. Either way, not pretty

    • James says:

      If it were a viable route the airlines would fly it.

  3. Joe Public says:

    “Our airline partners have already advised that they’ve seen destinations like Bermuda with strict Covid travel protocols lag far behind those with less prohibitive protocols in place.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Sums it up simply and clearly, but it will be ignored by those that can make the changes necessary. They think throwing a few thousand dollars to have some road fences fixed, or steps built at Elbow Beach, is economic stimulus and will create jobs. Clueless.

  4. Just thinking says:

    BTA says that they are engaging with senior leadership in the airlines.
    I would hope that includes senior ‘management’.?
    And it would be interesting to know how much subsidy we are paying per empty seat, and what the seat capacity requirement is for each flight to avoid subsidies.
    I would hazard a guess that it would be different for each airline, as per the ‘negotiations and value to Bermuda’ for each carrier.
    Thanks, and looking forward to an official response.

  5. comfortably numb says:

    Wasn’t our present Minister of Transport at one time a Jet Blue worker? Guess he didn’t make a favorable impression on the Jet Blue hierarchy!

  6. Unknown 800k says:

    Let’s keep them in a couple more years.. doing a marvelous job..said no one

  7. As long standing foreign tourists to Bermuda we have enjoyed coming throughout the year especially during the off season when the peace and beauty of Bermuda is so enjoyed. Since the direct flights from Boston to LD Wade Airport (Jet Blue and Delta) have been routed through New York City/JFK airport, we have limited our frequent visits. The nonstop 2 hour flight has become an arduous journey beginning with airport departure out of Logan at 5:30-7:00 AM. Adding in the layover, total travel time is now 5-7 hours. If Delta and/or JetBlue had year round direct flights from Boston, it is likely to translate into more tourist dollars coming to benefit the Bermuda hospitality industry.

  8. Stop this says:

    Our government is being run by clowns! Anyone with a brain saw this coming. They’ve done everything in their power to fear monger, control & restrict travel in & out of Bda. Meanwhile, they blocked & downplayed proven & effective treatments for covid from the very beginning!! Absolutely disgusting!