A new airline is coming to The Bahamas with a fleet of seaplanes, Caribbean Journal has learned.
It’s called COCO Bahama Seaplanes, and it’s the brainchild of Brian Hew, the chairman and founder of the legendary Kamalame Cay private-island resort off the coast of the island of Andros.
“Recovery of the Family Islands will be accelerated with the arrival of COCO and importantly, without the need for additional direct government investments to expand, rehabilitate or build new airports,” Hew said in a statement. “COCO will benefit visitors to our beautiful country and will help support a more reliable domestic travel infrastructure allowing residents to move quickly and efficiently throughout The Bahamas and reducing the burden on the government to fly to small, unprofitable markets with large aircraft.”
The 100-percent Bahamian-owned airline will have a fleet of seaplanes, two-pilot crews and “world-class safety standards,” according to the company.
While the company has not yet revealed its routes, COCO also said it planned to help expand tourism offerings for visitors in larger markets like Nassau and Grand Bahama.
COCO is already working aggressively with both independent and multinational hotels and resorts to spread tourism dollars to the Family Islands through day trips and excursions,” the company said.
COCO also will be investing in pilot development within The Bahamas, with plans for a scholarship program for young Bahamian pilots that will include a cash contribution for the flight school of their choice — and a contingent offer to join the COCO crew.
“I am pleased to welcome a new aircraft option to The Bahamas that will increase access to our islands and allow travelers to experience the secluded paradise they are looking for right now” said Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar. “I cannot help but feel proud that in these challenging times a Bahamian company such as COCO Bahama Seaplanes is prepared to invest in the future of tourism in The Bahamas. I sincerely believe that with Bahamian ingenuity and determination, we will once again take our rightful place as the destination of choice for travelers worldwide.”
The airline would complement the strong Florida-Bahamas network operated by longtime carrier Tropic Ocean Airways, which flies across The Bahamas from its base in Fort Lauderdale.
COCO’s official launch will take place in February.
For more, visit COCO Bahama Seaplanes.