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Cape Air

Cape Air
Cape Air logo
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1989 (1989)
Focus cities
Fleet size 89
Destinations 36
Company slogan We're your wings
Headquarters Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA
Key people Daniel A. Wolf (CEO) [1]
Linda Markham (President)[2]
Website .comcapeair

Hyannis Air Service, Inc., operating as Cape Air, is an airline headquartered at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.[3] It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, the Caribbean, Midwest, Eastern Montana and Micronesia. Flights in Micronesia are operated as United Express flights through a code share partnership with United Airlines. Flights between Hyannis and Nantucket, Massachusetts, are operated under the Nantucket Airlines brand, also operated by Hyannis Air Service, Inc.[4]

As of November 2013, Cape Air received $32,241,274 in annual federal subsidies for Essential Air Services that they provided to rural airports in the U.S.[5]


  • History 1
    • Nantucket Airlines 1.1
  • Destinations 2
    • Codeshares 2.1
      • United Airlines 2.1.1
      • JetBlue 2.1.2
      • American Airlines 2.1.3
  • Fleet 3
  • Accidents and incidents 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


A Cape Air ATR 42 in Guam, wearing codeshare colors.

The airline was co-founded in 1988 by company pilots Craig Stewart and Dan Wolf, and investor Grant Wilson. Initially, Cape Air flew between Provincetown and Boston in Massachusetts, but throughout the early 1990s new routes were added to destinations across southeastern New England. In 1994, Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines merged and now offer hourly flights between Nantucket and Hyannis.Services in Florida and the Caribbean were added in the late 1990s.

2004 marked the launch year of FAR Part 121 certification and a new hub of operations in Guam. This included a new fleet type consisting of 3 ATR-42 Turboprop aircraft. The startup team, led by Pacific Administrator and Captain Russell Price, launched scheduled service in July 2004 with the 3 ATR aircraft and 2 of the C402. Service was as a Continental Connection Carrier, flying from Guam to the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan and Rota. Due to the International Dateline and the midnight connecting service to/from Japan, it was sometimes referred to as "America's First Flight" i.e.: the first departure daily of any airline flight in the USA.

In late 2007, the airline began a new round of expansion in the Northeast and Midwest. On November 1, 2007, the airline began service between Boston and Rutland, Vermont, with three daily round trips. The route is operated under contract with the U.S. government Essential Air Service (EAS) program.

With the help of an intrastate minimum revenue guarantee, Cape Air expanded into Indiana on November 13, 2007, offering flights from Indianapolis to Evansville and South Bend. Passenger revenue did not grow quickly enough to make the operation economically sustainable once the revenue guarantee ended, so the last Cape Air flight in Indiana was on August 31, 2008.

The airline expanded into upstate New York in early 2008, following the sudden demise of Delta Connection carrier Big Sky Airlines. Cape Air began flying three daily round-trips on Essential Air Service routes from Boston to the Adirondack cities of Plattsburgh and Saranac Lake on February 12, 2008.

The airline continued its expansion into New York when they started to fly the EAS routes out of Albany to Watertown, Ogdensburg, and Massena, and Rutland Airport. Cape Air commenced service from Rockland, Maine, and Lebanon, New Hampshire, to Boston on November 1, 2008. Cape Air is currently the only airline offering commercial flights out of Lebanon. Cape Air also flies to/from Westchester County Airport to/from Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, initially for seasonal summer flights, which has since become year round. The company recently purchased four additional Cessna 402's to assist with the recent growth.

Cape Air was also looking to offer service on the west coast. Cape Air submitted bids to offer service between Newport and Portland in the state of Oregon. The airline was hoping to be selected by the Newport city council to receive a financial grant to jump-start the service.[6] Ultimately they lost out to SeaPort Airlines, which was able to get the service going sooner than the 2010 date that Cape Air had submitted.[7]

The airline also operated in the mid-Atlantic region. Cape Air provided scheduled flights from both the Hagerstown Regional Airport and the Lancaster Airport to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.[8] Service out of BWI ended in October 2012.

In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation selected Cape Air to fly a federally subsidized route connecting Augusta, Maine, and Boston. For serving the route, Cape Air receives an annual subsidy of $1.4 million from the federal Essential Air Service program, commonly known as EAS. Service to/from Augusta began in December 2010.[9]

Cape Air operates EAS Service from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to Cape Girardeau, MO; Kirksville, MO; Ft. Leonard Wood, MO; Marion, IL, Quincy, IL; and Owensboro, KY.

Cape Air has held discussions with airport officials to offer service between Pittsburgh International Airport and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania.[10]

In May 2013, Cape Air named Linda Markham as the new President and Chief Administrative Officer.

In September 2013, the DOT selected Cape Air to provide EAS service between Billings and five communities in Eastern Montana, including, Sidney, Glendive, Glasgow, Havre and Wolf Point. Service in Montana started on December 10, 2013.

Cape Air is the largest independent regional airline in the United States and carried almost 735,000 passengers in 2012, with new routes driving steady increases over time. Cape Air offers up to 550 daily flights system wide.

Nantucket Airlines

Nantucket Airlines, Cape Air's sister airline, operates Cape Air service under the Nantucket Airlines name. Flights depart hourly, and operate between Nantucket (Nantucket Memorial Airport) and Hyannis (Barnstable Municipal Airport). Cape Air also uses Nantucket Airlines planes to transfer passengers between Boston's Logan Intl. Airport and Nantucket Memorial Airport.



4 Cape Air Cessna 402's at Logan International Airport.
Two Cape Air Cessna 402C's in San Juan, PR
Cape Air Britten-Norman Islander, Block Island State Airport, RI

United Airlines

All Cape Air flights in Micronesia are operated as United Express in a codeshare agreement with United Airlines. This service was formerly operated as Continental Connection for Continental Airlines, but when United received a single operating certificate from the FAA on November 30, 2011 it was renamed United Express. Cape Air's Caribbean flights also have a codeshare with United, but are not operated as United Express.


Since February 2007, Cape Air and JetBlue Airways have had an interline agreement. The agreement allows Cape Air to carry JetBlue Airways passengers from Boston's Logan Airport and San Juan to Cape Air's destinations throughout the Northeast, Florida and the Caribbean. The agreement allows customers on both airlines to purchase seats on both airlines under one reservation. Customers also get their baggage transferred and Cape Air and JetBlue Airways are located in the same terminal in Boston and San Juan which allows for an easy connection.

American Airlines

Cape Air and American Airlines announced a codeshare agreement for the Caribbean in February 2013. The cities served by the AA codeshare are Anguilla, Nevis, Tortola, Vieques and Mayaguez. In the Midwest, Cape Air and American have had a codeshare agreement since 2010, which allows passengers from Quincy and Marion, Il; Cape Girardeau, Kirksville, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to connect in St. Louis, Mo.[11]


As of May 2015, Cape Air's fleet consists of the following aircraft:[12]

Type Fleet Orders Passengers Notes
ATR 42-320 2 0 46 Operates in Micronesia
Cessna 402 83 0 8 (+1 in copilot seat when unused)
Britten-Norman Islander[13] 4 0 9 Operates in the Caribbean (Winter) & New England (Summer)

In November 2010, Cape Air announced that it was considering new aircraft types to replace the Cessna 402. On April 18, 2011, Tecnam, an Italian company announced it will be producing the Tecnam P2012 Traveller. The aircraft will be ready for delivery in 2016.[14]

Accidents and incidents

  • On January 30, 2001, a Cape Air pilot and his only passenger were injured when a Cessna 402C crashed just short of the Martha's Vineyard Airport on a flight from T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • On June 12, 2007, Cape Air CEO Daniel Wolf announced the grounding of all of Cape Air's 49 Cessna 402C aircraft nationwide, after three in-flight engine failures. The problem was blamed on premature wear on the crankshaft counterweight. All 402 services were canceled for two days while the counterweights were inspected and replaced as necessary. Normal service resumed about four days after the initial fleet grounding.[15] The FAA stated that they were monitoring repairs, but that all action taken by Cape Air was voluntary and not ordered by the FAA. "They elected to do the right thing for safety."[16]
  • On September 26, 2008, a repositioning flight with no passengers on board departed Martha’s Vineyard at 8:05 pm en route to Boston. Shortly after takeoff from runway 33, the plane went down about two and a half miles from the airport, killing the pilot, who was the sole occupant.[16] Prior to this date, Cape Air had maintained a fatality-free record over its 18-year history.[17]
  • On January 22, 2009, a Cape Air 402C with six passengers aboard during a night flight from Key West, FL to Fort Myers, FL lost power in both engines as a result of fuel starvation due to faulty maintenance of the fuel selector. The aircraft made a successful emergency landing at Naples Municipal Airport.[18]


  1. ^ "President of Cape Air Seeking interns, to talk to students April 12". UNHToday. April 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  2. ^ Cape Air Appoints New President - Yahoo! Finance. (2013-02-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  3. ^ Cape Air, Inc. "The Cape Air Story". Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ Cape Air, Inc. (2010). "The facts about Cape Air". Cape Air. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tobias, Lori (May 21, 2010). "Flap Over Newport Airport Ends in Lawsuit, Oregon Department of Justice investigation".  
  7. ^ "Paid Registration Required".  
  8. ^ Schotz, Andrew (January 2, 2009). "Second Airline Chosen to Serve Hagerstown".  
  9. ^ Shemkus, Sarah. "Cape Air lands new rotes". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ Carroll, Jim (November 13, 2008). "Erie-to-Pittsburgh flights pondered".  
  11. ^ Wilson, Doug (October 30, 2009). "Code share agreement struck with Cape Air".  
  12. ^ "Cape Air About Us". Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Cape Air studies three designs for Cessna 402 replacement". Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  15. ^ Cape Air grounded; Boat rescue; Barnstable crash; Harwich crash; Emergency landing; Dennis rollover
  16. ^ a b Howe, Peter J. (June 14, 2007). "Timing dulls sting of Cape Air grounding". Boston Globe. 
  17. ^ "Investigators Seek Cause Of Cape Air Crash." WCVB-TV. Posted September 26, 2008 - updated September 28, 2008.
  18. ^ NTSB Accident Report ERA09IA140

External links

  • Cape Air
  • Cape Air Jobs

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