Bahamasair was established in 1973 as a product of a newly established Independent Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The mandate was to provide a safe and reliable mode of air transportation throughout the archipelagic nation and internationally. The National Flag carrier purpose was to provide an ‘Essential Service’ bridging Nassau, the nation’s capital and the remote Family of Islands.
Simultaneously, Bahamasair was to mitigate the volatility of the country’s heavy reliance upon foreign carriers and its impact to Tourism, the country’s main industry. Bahamasair was incorporated under the name Bahamasair Holdings Limited and resulted from the amalgamation of two privately owned carriers, Out Island Airways and Flamingo Airways. The airline remains wholly owned by the Bahamas Government.
- First flight – 18 June 1973, to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas.
- December 1975, Bahamasair inaugurated scheduled service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
- 1976 began service to Orlando Florida.
- 1979, Bahamasair acquires 4 new BAE 748 turbo-props to replace the FH-227.
- December 1979 scheduled service inaugurated to Atlanta Georgia, the first US destination outside Florida.
- 1980 Bahamasair acquires the B737-200 to replace the BAC 1-11 Jet.
- Throughout the 1980s, Bahamasair adds more destinations to the route structure including West Palm Beach, Tampa, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
- 1984 Bahamasair hires its first female pilot, Patrice Clarke-Washington, who goes on to become the first female African-American major airline captain at UPS on the DC-8.
- 1990 the airline adds 2 B727s to the fleet following the collapse of Eastern Airlines. The aircraft was leased to provide flights for the Bahamas Express Casino Junkets program. Under this program flights operated between Freeport and six alternate U.S. cities.
- 1990 Bahamasair was the launch customer for the 50 seat De Havilland Dash 8-300 series, which replaced the BAE 748’s.
- 1996 Bahamasair inaugurated scheduled service to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
- 2001 Bahamasair inaugurates scheduled service to Havana, Cuba.
- 2004 Bahamasair inaugurated scheduled service to Santo Domingo, DR.
- Currently International routes include Florida – Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando. Other current international routes include The Turks & Caicos and Havana, Cuba.
- Current domestic routes out of Nassau include airlift into Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Crooked Island, Acklins, Mayaguana, Inagua, San Salvador and Long Island.