Florida’s niche carrier, Silver Airways, has long intrigued me. They fly as a feeder for jetBlue, United and Avianca (via codeshares). They also have interline agreements with other major carriers. The airline has used Saab 340 aircraft for a very long time as the backbone of its fleet. Well, it seems that this is going to change. Silver Airways orders ATR aircraft to replace their ageing Saab 340s. The long term goal is for the airline to have a more reliable, larger aircraft for their current routes.

Silver Airways Saab340

Silver Airways Saab340

LOI for how many?

Silver Airways is a small airline. I would consider it one of the larger niche carriers in the US. They have 23 Saabs in their fleet right now, and fly almost exclusively from Florida. The letter of intent (LOI) is for 50 (yes FIFTY) ATRs. The first 20 will be delivered between late 2017, and early 2020. These first 20 aircraft will be ATR42s. This is a huge commitment by the airline. They plan to expand their routes throughout the southeast US. The airline also has the possibility to upgrade the remaining 30 aircraft to the larger ATR 72 planes.


Expanding Partnerships

Silver Airways also mentioned they are currently in negotiations with Seaborne Airlines. Seaborne is a San Juan, PR based carrier that operates a series of regional flights from San Juan to the Caribbean Islands. They codeshare with various carriers, chiefly American Airlines. The negotiation are still ongoing. The proposed venture would create the largest independent niche carrier in the US. They would probably enter into feeder agreements with other carriers. This will allow for continued growth for both markets (Florida and Puerto Rico).

Seaborne Airlines Saab340

Seaborne Airlines Saab340

Landing Thoughts:

I am quite excited to see Silver Airways grow. I have always been rooting for them to succeed, as I seem them as David against the Goliath of the major carriers. The possibility of them partnering up with Seaborne makes me giddy. I am a big fan of Seaborne, as they employ a large number of people from Puerto Rico. I hope to see these two airlines start a new partnership and are able to develop into a force to be reckoned with in the region.


What do you think? What do you think of Silver Airways ordering ATRs? Will they partner with Seaborne Airlines? Who do you think they will fly for? Let us know!

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All images from Wikipedia.