By water and air: Tailwind seaplane makes first flight from New York to Boston 

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Tailwind Air is the first seaplane to transport passengers from Boston Harbor to the East River.
Photo by Dean Moses

Tailwind Air has created a streamlined waterway from New York to Boston that uses seaplanes to make commuting between the cities much faster.

Descending onto from the sky and skiing to a halt on the East River like a scene from a James Bond movie, the remarkably large plane can hold up to eight passengers and is intended for business trips and allows riders to bypass much of the time-consuming airport interactions, including allowing flyers to check-in ten minutes before fly time and forgoing many of the lengthy security checks and boarding protocols.

The seaplane takes flight. Photo by Dean Moses

Aug. 3 marked the first commercial flight from New York to Boston at the Manhattan Skyport, and although this route is new, seaplanes have been operating in the area for many years. The Manhattan Skyport itself opened back in 1936 and has operated seaplane travel for decades. 

“It has been a multiyear effort, mostly involving opening a seaplane base in Boston Harbor,” The Director of scheduled services at Tailwind Air Peter Manice told amNewYork Metro. “We are looking forward to bridging the two cities closer together.” 

The seaplane seats eight passengers and can land in an airport or on water. Photo by Dean Moses

Manice explained that when landing in the Boston harbor, water taxis transfer clients to the South Boston waterfront. With much of the travel time spent preparing for the flight itself, he says seaplanes make both the arrivals and departures far more accessible for those in a hurry, and even for those making day trips.

Manice also expressed his excitement for the future, explaining that the current two flights a day will soon be expanded to four flights, taking about 75 minutes to reach their destination.  

“Personally, and for the company, this is a really exciting moment. There seems to be a lot of demand on our website, and advance bookings are super strong. We have no doubt that we can save people 40% to 60% on their total travel time between the cities. I think this is a practical use of what they call urban air mobility,” Manice said.

A passenger boards the first ever flight from the East River to Boston Harbor. Photo by Dean Moses

Manice also shared that the Cessna caravan amphibian seaplane has the capability of landing on water or land.