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Seaplane service launches in Boston

Tailwind Air is seeing intense interest, starting next week with two daily round trips to New York

Boston does not currently have a seaplane dock, so travelers will board a water taxi at Fan Pier in the Seaport to access a floating dock near East Boston to board the plane.
Boston does not currently have a seaplane dock, so travelers will board a water taxi at Fan Pier in the Seaport to access a floating dock near East Boston to board the plane.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Ticket sales are taking off at a faster-than-expected pace for a New York-based airline’s new seaplane flights between Boston and Manhattan, in advance of the first trips next week.

Gabriela Salas, director of sales at Rye Brook, N.Y.-based Tailwind Air, said travelers are booking flights through October — only one week after the service was first announced. Most of the tickets are being booked by New Yorkers, she said. Tailwind, she said, had a conservative outlook because the flights are starting so late in the year, with the season wrapping up at the end of November.

“It’s such a short season for us,” Salas said. “[But] sales have been booming. We have to hire more people now just to answer phone calls.”

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An interior view of the passenger seating area of the seaplane.
An interior view of the passenger seating area of the seaplane. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Tailwind on Wednesday held demonstration flights for the media over Boston Harbor, and plans to start commercial flights from the harbor to Manhattan on Aug. 3, initially with two round trips a day and then expanding to four later in the month. Prices start at $395 one way and can range up to $795, Salas said, although discounts are available for bulk purchases. The tickets are being priced to be competitive with the walk-up fare for the New York-Boston shuttles that fly out of Logan Airport. Tailwind is using amphibious Cessna Caravans, with room for eight passengers on each flight.

The view from a passenger window of the seaplane mid-flight.
The view from a passenger window of the seaplane mid-flight.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Unlike New York, Boston does not currently have a seaplane dock, so travelers here will board a water taxi at Fan Pier in the Seaport District to get to a floating dock tied to a mooring near East Boston, before boarding the plane. Even with that short water taxi ride, the trip will take under 90 minutes from dock to dock, making it a more efficient way to travel between downtown Boston and Manhattan than the traditional flights between the cities’ main airports. Eventually, Tailwind plans to have a dock connected to land in Boston, likely in the Seaport.

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A paddle attached to the float of the seaplane — just in case.
A paddle attached to the float of the seaplane — just in case. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff







Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.