United Airlines marks 30 years of service
United Airlines has begun its seasonal service between Bermuda and Newark six weeks earlier than last year, and talks are ongoing about the possibility of all-year round service.
The airline marked 30 years of service to the island yesterday, celebrating with its staff at LF Wade International Airport.
Noting the earlier start to United’s seasonal service, Aaron Adderley, president of airport operator Skyport, said: “We are inching our way closer to year-round service.”
The former Continental Airlines first came to Bermuda 30 years ago, and merged with United in 2011.
Mr Adderley said the direct service from Newark had long been a favourite for residents and visitors, with residents flying out to for shopping and vacationing in the New York area.
“It has just been a phenomenal flight to have.”
He said that while JetBlue and American Airlines also fly from New York to Bermuda, albeit through JFK International Airport, “they do so at night, so for visitors getting to Bermuda at night-time is not ideal. Newark, with its midday service, ticks a number of boxes for visitors and residents.”
He said discussions to encourage United to increase its airlift to the island beyond the months of April to October were ongoing.
“Our discussions are about flying January through December. Even if we move to twice or three times a week for the off season, as long as we have presence here that is good for the airline and the destination.”
Yana Shugart, United Airlines’ regional manager covering Bermuda, said that part of the reason the carrier has had such a long association with Bermuda came from it recognising the desire of locals to travel to Newark to shop.
Asked about the possibility of the airline increasing its service, she said: “We are not saying no to anything right now, because we have added aircraft. They are looking at all markets right now.
“There was a time when we pulled back in our hubs, specifically in Newark, but we won’t make that mistake again. That’s why we are adding as many routes as possible.
“It has to be financially viable and sustainable as well, depending on different times of the year, and this is what happened historically here.”