IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1973 (1973)[2]
Commenced operations17 June 1973; 50 years ago (1973-06-17)[2]
HubsLynden Pindling International Airport
Frequent-flyer programBahamasair Flyer
Fleet size9
Parent companyBahamian Government[2]
HeadquartersNassau, Bahamas
Key peopleTracy Cooper, Managing Director[3]

Bahamasair Holdings Limited (stylised: bahamasaır) is an airline headquartered in Nassau.[4] It is the national airline of The Bahamas and operates scheduled services to 32 domestic and regional destinations in the Caribbean and the United States from its base at Lynden Pindling International Airport.[5]


Early years

Bahamasair was established by the Bahamas Government and started operations on 17 June 1973 by acquiring the routes of Flamingo Airlines and the operations and routes of Out Island Airways (OIA). During the early 1970s, both Flamingo Airlines and Out Island Airways were operating scheduled passenger services, Flamingo with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven jets, Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprops and Convair 340 and Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft while Out Island was operating Fairchild Hiller FH-227 and de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops.[6][7][8][9][10] Out Island later operated the BAC One-Eleven jet as well.[11]

The first Bahamasair flight was to Andros Island and the second to Freeport, Grand Bahama. The Bahamas Government purchased 51% of OIA and became the majority shareholder and part owner, then renamed the airline Bahamasair. The other owners were Edward Albury, Gil Hensler and Sherlock Hackley who had 49%. After a few years the Government had purchased the shares of Gil Hensler and Sherlock Hackley. The only Bahamian owner of OIA still maintaining some shares was Edward Albury.

Bahamasair initially encountered operating difficulties, including poor maintenance facilities, economic conditions and company structure. Those factors brought public distrust as a consequential added problem. However, jet airliners started to arrive in the shape of new BAC One-Eleven twin jets including the stretched series 500 model, followed by one brand new Boeing 737-200, and in 1973, it opened its first service to the US, from Nassau to Tampa, Florida.

Also in 1973, the government's vision of several airlines discontinuing service to Nassau became a reality, when US carrier Pan American World Airways as well as other airlines decided to stop operating to the Bahamas. This enabled Bahamasair to capture a substantial part of the Bahamas scheduled air transport market.

Through the rest of the 1970s, Bahamasair kept adding flights to other cities in Florida and, domestically, the presence of the airline also grew rapidly. According to the February 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), interisland flights were operated with Fairchild Hiller FH-227 and STOL capable de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops and also with one Douglas DC-3 prop aircraft. This same OAG also lists four daily round trip flights between Nassau and Freeport operated by Bahamasair with BAC One-Eleven twin jets.[12]


A now retired Bahamasair Boeing 737-200 departing Miami in 1989

During the early 1980s, Bahamasair unsuccessfully tried to expand to the Northeast United States, opening flights to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Newark, New Jersey. But in 1989, the airline's directors decided that those routes were not profitable and eliminated them from the airline's schedule. Also in 1989, the first of two Boeing 727-200s came into the fleet. That was also the year that a new livery and workers' uniform were introduced. The Boeing 727s, however, could not be kept in service long because of political favors and interference, thereby causing the company to lose vast sums of money in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


In 1991, de Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft were purchased to replace the whole jet fleet and the Boeing 737-200s were taken out of service. According to the September 15, 1994 Official Airline Guide (OAG), most flights were being operated with Dash 8 turboprops although Short 360 turboprops and Cessna 402 prop aircraft were being operated in scheduled service as well.[13] The Dash 8 was being flown on all scheduled services between the Bahamas and Florida at this time according to this OAG. In 1997, the Boeing 737s returned to service because key routes warranted the cargo and passenger carrying capabilities offered by these jetliners. The 737-200 was deployed to Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando as well as one domestic route, being Nassau-Freeport.

Development since the 2000s

A former Bahamasair Boeing 737-200 in 2012

In November 2011, the government discussed plans to replace the Bahamasair Boeing 737-200s with more fuel efficient and cost effective aircraft. However, it was said that pre-owned Boeing 737-500s may serve as a replacement for the then current jet fleet. In 2012, Bahamasair confirmed it would be taking delivery of two Boeing 737-500s with a 120-passenger all-economy class layout. The first aircraft was delivered on 30 March 2012 and put into service in April 2012. The second 737-500 was delivered on 21 June 2012. Bahamasair retired its last two Boeing 737-200s in September 2012 and received a third Boeing 737-500 in March 2014.

In May 2015, it was reported that the loss-making airline was in a phase of restructuring to gain profitability as advised by the government. This included new union agreements as well as a planned renewal of the ageing fleet.[14] Shortly after, Bahamasair ordered five new ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft to replace all of its Bombardier Dash 8s.[15]

The airline took delivery of the first ATR 72–600 on 27 November 2015.[16]


Current fleet

As of December 2023, the Bahamasair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[17][18]

Bahamasair fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
ATR 42-600 3 50
ATR 72-600 2 70
Boeing 737-700 4 138
Total 9

Historic fleet

A former Bahamasair Boeing 737-500
A former Bombardier Dash 8–300 in the older livery introduced in the mid-1980s
A former Bahamasair Airbus A320
A former Bahamasair Short 330
Bahamasair Historic Fleet
Aircraft Total Notes
Airbus A320-200 1
BAC One-Eleven (series 400 and 500 aircraft) 4
Boeing 727-200 2
Boeing 737-200 17
Boeing 737-300 1
Boeing 737-400 1
Boeing 737-500 3
Bombardier Dash 8-300 7 5 Replaced by the ATR order / 2 written off
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 3
Fairchild Hiller FH-227 4
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 4
Short 330 1 Cargo only
Short 360 2
Aero Commander 500S Shrike Commander 4
Cessna 402C 3

Accidents and incidents

As of 2024, Bahamasair has not suffered a fatal accident since its founding in 1973. However, three aircraft have been lost in non-fatal accidents and a weather event:[19]


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. ISBN 0-9653993-8-9. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  3. ^ "New routes for Bahamasair". Airliner World: 15. January 2015.
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 16–22 March 2004. 96 Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 84.
  6. ^ Quick Reference Timetable Archived 13 October 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ The Bahama Islands Archived 12 October 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Reservations - Ticketing information Archived 12 October 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Island Flying Service Archived 12 October 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Aug. 1, 1972 Official Airline Guide (OAG), International Edition, Nassau (NAS) flight schedules
  11. ^ "Aircraft Photo of VP-BDI | BAC 111-401AK One-Eleven | Out Island Airways - OIA | #35499".
  12. ^ Feb. 1, 1976 North American Official Airline Guide (OAG)
  13. ^ Sept. 15, 1994 North American Official Airline Guide (OAG)
  14. ^ "Bahamasair to unveil fleet renewal plan in coming weeks". ch-aviation. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Bahamasair ATR order." Archived 10 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine - News 2015.
  16. ^ "Bahamasair takes delivery of its first ATR 72-600". Archived from the original on 5 December 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 5. October 2019.
  18. ^ "Bahamasair Fleet Details and History". February 2024. Archived from the original on 25 August 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Aviation Safety Network Aviation Safety Database: Bahamasair". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  20. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Nassau ATR 72-600 C6-BFQ Nassau-Lynden Pindling International Airport". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  21. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-8-301 C6-BFN Governor's Harbour Airport (GHB)". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  22. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace BAe-748-348 Srs. 2A LFD C6-BED". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  23. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Fairchild FH-227 C6-BDQ Chub Cay Airport (CCZ)". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.