Brian Hew, founder and chairman of Kamalame Cay, a private island resort off of Andros, has invested in a new seaplane company he hopes will unlock millions of dollars in economic development on the Family Islands. Coco Bahama Seaplanes is slated to begin
service next month.
Coco Bahama Seaplanes, a 100 percent Bahamian-owned company, plans to operate with a fleet of state-of-the-art amphibious seaplanes it hopes will open up hard-to-access parts of The Bahamas, according to a press statement released by the company.
Hew said in the press release that Coco Bahama Seaplanes will help to accelerate the economic recovery of the Family Islands without the need for the government to invest heavily in new airports and airport rehabilitation.
“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, reducing the burden on the government to fly to small, unprofitable markets with large aircraft,” Hew said.
The release explained that Coco Bahama will offer a range of tourism offerings for both domestic and international visitors, adding that the company is already in talks with independent and multinational hotel owners in the Family Islands about day trips and excursions.
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said in the release that the new company will allow travelers to experience “secluded” parts of The Bahamas that there is high interest in.
“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,” D’Aguilar said.
“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.”
Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest said in the release that the new company will assist in expanding local routes without adding a financial burden to the Bahamian government.
Coco Bahama Seaplanes stated in its release that it will also invest in young Bahamians interested in a career in aviation. The company noted that through international training partnerships and scholarships it will create hundreds of pilot, maintenance, sales, customer service, management and support role jobs.
“Coco Bahama Seaplanes will announce the first recipients of its annual scholarship program for young (18 to 30 years old) Bahamian pilots later this month,” the release revealed.
“Successful applicants will receive a cash contribution towards the flight school of their choice and upon successful completion, will have a contingent offer to join the crew at Coco Bahama Seaplanes.”