Silver Airways Wants To Fly Larger Aircraft – What Does This Mean For Passengers?

Based at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), regional airline Silver Airways wants to operate larger aircraft between the United States and several Caribbean destinations. Already the airline is the biggest American carrier flying to the Bahamas with more flights to remote parts of the Lucayan Archipelago than any other carrier. Now, Silver Airways is now looking to expand to other Caribbean countries.

Silver Airways is looking to fly larger planes. Photo: Silver Airways

Primarily focusing on underserved regional routes from its three hubs in Florida, Silver Airways has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate flights with larger aircraft.

Larger aircraft to be used on Dominican Republic and Saint Martin flights

In two filings with the DOT, Silver Airways has asked for permission to fly to the Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten with larger aircraft starting this spring.

Currently, the Florida regional airline only has permission to operate smaller aircraft like the ATR 42-600 and the ATR-72-600.

Silver Airways will soon have an all-ATR fleet. Photo: Silver Airways

According to aviation website FlightGlobal, in the filings with the DOT, Silver Airways said:

“To maximize its operational flexibility to introduce new service to the Dominican Republic, Silver asks that its requested exemption encompass a broader exemption to cover US-Dominican Republic service than its current operations to Santiago, Dominican Republic.”

The very same request also appears in its filing to operate flights to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.

Silver Airways embracing the turboprop

Back in November, Silver Airways became the first American airline to operate the French/Italian built ATR 72-600 at a time when other American carriers are turning away from turboprops.

The 2+2, 70 seats configured Silver Airways ATR-600 is especially suited to the Silver Airways short-haul market and is an ideal fit for many of the smaller runways found in the Bahamian out islands.

While reinventing itself as a regional Southeastern US and Caribbean airline, Silver Airways released a statement about its plans for the new ATR aircraft:

“This is an exciting time for Silver Airways and regional airline flying as we continue our fleet transformation and focus on providing the highest level of safe, reliable and customer-focused service,” said Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum. “Starting operations of the new ATR 72-600 aircraft is another great milestone for Silver Airways, ATR, our customers, our airline partners, the communities we serve and our team members. The ATR 42-600 has been well received and highly praised by our customers and team members this year, and we’re looking forward to even further expanding our world-class service with extended reach in the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean with the new larger ATR 72-600.”

“We are proud to be part of Silver Airways’ ambitions and expansion plans,” said ATR Chief Executive Officer Stefano Bortoli. “After the start with the 42-600, we will now see the 72-600 operating in the U.S., introducing the most modern standards of regional aviation at the most competitive cost. In addition, it is an eco-responsible aircraft that emits 40 percent less CO2 compared to a regional jet, which is making a real difference. As the leading regional aviation manufacturer, we know how tough it is for regional airlines. That is why we do everything we can to support our operators, adding value in the cockpit, in the cabin and to the bottom line. We look forward to Silver being able to exploit that fully to the benefit of its passengers.”

Silver Airways just started flying to Charleston

Given the fact that Silver Airways will soon be operating an all-ATR fleet of aircraft, it has me scratching my head as to what kind of plane they want to operate on the Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten routes.

Silver Airways ATR-72s has 70 seats. Photo: Silver Airways

In the meantime, Simple Flying will get in touch with Silver Airways to see if they can shed some light on their future plans.

The airline recently introduced three new routes from Charleston International Airport (CHS) to Tampa, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale. We are anticipating that they will add more destinations in the coming months.

If you have any ideas what the larger aircraft Silver Airways could be considering, let us know in the comments section!