Tailwind Air Adds Washington, D.C-Area To Fall Schedule

College Park seaplane
Credit: Tailwind

Tailwind Air will launch twice-daily flights between New York’s Skyport Marina and College Park Airport just outside of Washington, D.C., adding the popular commuter route to the operator’s expanding U.S. East Coast network. 

Service will start Sept. 13 with a single morning and afternoon departure in each direction. 

The seaplane operator touts its newest “shuttle” service, with one-way fares that start at $395, as a faster, reasonably priced alternative to flying between commercial airports or taking Amtrak rail service. The fight times are about 90 min, with check-in lasting until 10 min. before departure, Tailwind said. All flights are operated under Part 135 using eight-seat Cessna Grand Caravan EXs flown by two pilots and capable of operating from both water and land. 

“Bypassing the congestion of the northeast corridor between New York and Washington, D.C. remains the core mission of Tailwind Air,” said CEO Alan Ram. “This new D.C. service complements our existing groundbreaking service between Manhattan and Boston Harbor as well as our numerous summer destinations in the Hamptons and Provincetown.” 

Tailwind picked College Park Airport, Maryland, about 10 mi. northeast of the U.S. Capitol building, due to its proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., and a lack of congestion. The company explored using a base on the Potomac River, but myriad security restrictions related to operating in and around Washington airspace led it to picking a less complicated alternative to launch the service. 

“Ultimately, we hope to be able to offer [a Potomac River] service in the not-too-distant future,” the company said. “The reality of current security restrictions means we still have some ways to go with all stakeholders.” 

College Park becomes the ninth destination Tailwind serves from its New York seaplane base, and first outside of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The carrier’s routes appeal to both business and leisure travelers—four of Tailwind’s current, summer-season destinations are on the eastern end of Long Island, New York, home to several high-end vacation towns. Its fall schedule, effective Sept. 6, adds the new College Park service and cuts some leisure-route flights.    

The airline, which has three aircraft dedicated to its shuttle services, plans to add additional flights from College Park, similar to its multiple nonstop destination schedules offered from its downtown New York and Boston bases. 

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.