BOAC Gamble

Even though he was introducing new scheduled services from Manchester to Basle, Hamburg and Copenhagen, Bamberg was frustrated with the near monopoly enjoyed by the state corporations and decided to begin Caribbean operations from a base in Bermuda. It was his biggest gamble.


Two 800 Series Viscounts were ordered from Vickers and by the end of the year the Bermudan government had granted permission for up to 28 services a week between the colony and New York and Montreal. It was the first time a British independent carrier had gone head-to-head with BOAC. Sales offices were opened in the north-American cities.


A new company, Eagle Airways (Bermuda), was formed to fly scheduled Viscount services between Bermuda and New York. BOAC was already serving the route but Eagle’s intervention boosted Britain’s share of total traffic. Within a year Eagle had pushed its network to Montreal, Baltimore and Washington as well as Nassau.