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US Air Comeback: Announces Seaplane Service To Downtown Manhattan

Dornier Amphibian To Fly DC-NY Route

04.01.24 Aero-News April 1 Special Edition (Classic)

U.S. Airways is making a comeback and says it will be the first major airline in more than 65 years to offer amphibious seaplane service to Manhattan, the company announced in a news conference Monday.

Dornier Seaplane

The service is expected to be popular among Wall Street bankers, who often need to travel quickly to Washington, according to a company spokesperson. Since the seaplane service is "a regularly scheduled flight," bankers can avoid the political sensitivities associated with flying to Washington in a private jet. Passengers would also save time, since they can leave directly from Manhattan instead of traveling to an airport outside the city.

U.S. Airways plans to operate the service as a separate company, essentially operating as a regional airline. This will allow the company to minimize costs, including paying employees lower wages. The spokesperson said it plans to initially recruit experienced bush pilots "used to enduring hardship" in Alaska. He added the pilots could expect to earn more, since New York State has a higher minimum wage than Alaska.

Kirby concluded the press conference by saying "We think this is a way to increase the loyalty of our customer base while providing them the kind of service that we found develops a deep emotional commitment between passengers and pilots." Asked whether "Miracle of the Hudson" pilot Chesley Sullenberger had inspired the new service, Kirby smiled and said, "I never made that connection."

FMI: www.usairways.com

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