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Seaplanes Are Coming To Washington To Connect Passengers With Manhattan

Seaplane operator Tailwind Air has announced an exciting new destination, reducing travel times by up to 60%.


There’s a new way to travel between Washington DC and Manhattan, and it’s set to cut travel times by up to 60%. Tailwind Air, an experienced New York-based seaplane operator, is set to start flying between Manhattan’s Skyport Marina on East 23rd Street to Washington DC’s College Park Airport from September 13th.

Peter Manice, Tailwind Air co-founder and director of scheduled services, commented on the route launch, stating,

“We’re very excited to be adding Washington, D.C., to our scheduled service. When factoring in the full journey—one hour and twenty minutes in the air (comparable to DCA-LGA service except with no need to access crowded and congested airports on both ends) or the three hours fifty minutes for the Acela—Tailwind Air will offer the fastest, least stressful, premium way to travel between DC and Manhattan. That, paired with the unforgettable views, makes this a compelling experience.”

Tailwind says its new service will reduce transit time by up to 60%.

Washington DC residents and regular visitors have long lamented the lack of seaplane services to the city center. Downtown Airlines attempted to crack the issue back in 1974, but shut down almost as soon as the service launched. Other entrants have found regulatory approval difficult to secure, given that the majority of the Potomac River is reserved airspace for DCA.

But Tailwind has indeed secured the regulatory approvals it needs to begin service, and has picked College Park, Maryland, as the landing spot, just 25 minutes transit time from Capitol Hill and Georgetown. The airport boasts free adjacent parking, walking distance to the DC Metro system, and a lack of congestion. Potomac River is still under consideration, but Tailwind advises that there is still a way to go to secure approvals to operate there.

Reducing travel time on the Northeast Corridor is a key ambition for Tailwind, and the introduction of this new service will cut transit time by up to 60%. Today’s route launch comes on the back of its successful expansion to Boston last year, cutting travel times between the city centers by around 50%. Added to the attraction of faster transit time is the inimitable experience of flying the Cessna 208 Caravan, where every seat is a window seat with incomparable views throughout the flight.

Details of the service

Tailwind will operate the flights on a 5 days a week basis. Departures from Manhattan leave at 08:55 Monday to Friday and at 16:55 Monday to Thursday as well as Sunday, arriving in Washington at 10:25 and 18:25, respectively. From Washington, services depart Monday to Friday at 06:55 and again at 15:00, arriving in Manhattan at 08:23 and 16:23.

Tailwind has compared its new connection between Manhattan and Washington to the other options available. For someone traveling from East Midtown, NY, to Capitol Hill, DC, the time spent traveling could be reduced by more than an hour compared to flying via LaGuardia and DCA. Compared with using Acela, travel time is reduced by almost two hours.


Alan Ram, CEO and co-founder of Tailwind Air, noted,

“Bypassing the congestion of the northeast corridor between New York and Washington, DC remains the core mission of Tailwind Air. 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.”

Tickets for the flights start at $395 each way, with last-minute bookings available at $795. Thanks to the small airplanes and bespoke service provided by Tailwind, passengers only need to arrive around 10 minutes prior to departure for check-in, adding to the convenience of this service.

To promote the launch of the new service, Tailwind is offering early bookers a promotion to ‘buy one seat, and a companion flies with you for free’. Bookings on made by September 10th will be eligible for the promotion, using the booking offer code TWDCBOGO.

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