‘All Business Class’ Airline Scraps Industry-Leading Concept Weeks After Launch

‘All Business Class’ Airline Scraps Industry-Leading Concept Weeks After Launch

Image: @BermudAir

Luxury travel provider BermudAir has made a strategic shift in its business model by introducing economy seats alongside its original all-business class concept.

Only a couple of months after we reported on BermudAir’s plans to launch an industry-leading all-business class airline, and mere weeks since the challenger carrier actually took flight, it seems to have abandoned its groundbreaking all-business concept by introducing a dual cabin approach with economy seats.

As reported by One Mile At A Time, the new dual-class layout — set to launch in Q4 2023 — marks a significant departure from the airline’s initial “all-business class” model. While the exact number of business and economy seats on each aircraft is yet to be finalised, the airline has already made tickets in both cabins available for purchase online.

WATCH: Compare BermudAir to Cthauy Pacific’s new business class offer…

BermudAir’s CEO, Adam Scott, expressed how the change of plans was defined by a more inclusive approach to air travel, aiming to accommodate a broader range of passengers:

“After nearly 170 successful flights, it’s clear that there is strong demand for direct, short-haul and premium flights between Bermuda and the East Coast. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from our guests about their experience onboard BermudAir, but guests also desire more options and flexibility. BermudAir is uniquely positioned to fill that need with our dual-class cabin.”

Adam Scott, BermudAir CEO

Economy fares from destinations like Fort Lauderdale to Bermuda start at the relatively affordable price point of $299 USD ($465 AUD) one-way, while business class fares begin at $799 ($1244 AUD) one-way. These fares are designed to provide flexibility and options for travellers while still delivering premium service. Passengers can expect complimentary hand luggage, free checked bags, premium snacks, drinks, and seat selection.

Whether BermudAir’s decision to introduce economy seating is a smart expansion of their offer or an admission of the many steep challenges that an all-business approach poses is up for debate. Some see the move as pragmatic, given that operating year-round flights to a seasonal destination like Bermuda is a formidable task, and the addition of an economy class provides a buffer to ensure consistent passenger loads.

BermudAir’s livery. Image: BermudAir

Others, however, may see it as an abandonment of an industry-leading change to the way aeroplane cabins were designed and the level of service that passengers could and should expect from their carriers. In my previous article on the airline, I had this to say about BermudAir’s initial approach:

“[BermudAir seems to have found a] workable business model wherein passengers get ample space, comfort, and amenities at a cost that, though not cheap, hardly represents a significant markup compared to the jaw-dropping prices that larger carriers are demanding for their much less enticing economy seats…”

Finlay Mead, DMARGE

By adding an economy cabin into the mix, I worry that BermudAir’s potential to be a genuinely innovative challenger carrier will effectively evaporate. While their service in both cabins may still mark them out as a cut above the rest in terms of experience, their choice to chase consistent passenger numbers and therefore consistent profits over a concept that could have genuinely shaken up the airline industry writ large is a little disappointing.

What this does mean, however, is that a space has opened up for a similar airline to occupy that genuinely innovative space. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on this space to see how things develop…