|Headquarters||Barnstable, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Key people||Daniel A. Wolf (Founder and Board Chairman) |
Linda Markham (CEO & President)
Hyannis Air Service Inc., operating as Cape Air, is an airline headquartered at Cape Cod Gateway Airport in Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States. It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, the Caribbean, Midwest, and Eastern Montana. Flights between Hyannis and Nantucket, Massachusetts, are operated under the Nantucket Airlines brand, also operated by Hyannis Air Service, Inc. The company slogan is We're your wings.
Cape Air 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, a route that had been recently discontinued by Provincetown-Boston Airlines (PBA). Throughout the early 1990s new routes were added to destinations across Cape Cod and southeastern New England. In 1994, Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines merged and now offer hourly flights between Nantucket and Hyannis.
In 1993, Cape Air began service in Florida with flights operating from Key West International Airport to Naples Municipal Airport. Florida service expanded in 1996 with flights from Key West to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. Cape Air also began a network in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in 1998, which were mostly based out of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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 three ATR 42 Turboprop aircraft. The startup team, led by Pacific Administrator, Captain Russell Price, launched scheduled service in July 2004 with the three ATR aircraft and two of the C402. Service was operated as Continental Connection, the regional brand of Continental Airlines, and flights flew 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 United States.
In the 2000s, Cape Air's flights in Florida between Fort Myers and Key West also began operating under the Continental Connection banner, though the Cessnas remained in the Cape Air livery. Cape Air also began flying flights for Continenal Connection from Tampa International Airport to both Sarasota and Fort Myers (the latter route had been previously operated by Continental Connection carrier Gulfstream International Airlines).
In late 2007, the airline began a new round of expansion in the Northeast and Midwest. On 1 November 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 13 November 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 31 August 2008.
Cape Air began flights between Florida Keys Marathon Airport and Fort Myers in 2008 but this service was discontinued a year later. By the end of 2009, Florida service was no longer operated as Continental Connection and flights from Fort Myers to Key West were Cape Air's only remaining Florida service. Cape Air ended all intra-Florida flights in 2013.
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. The company purchased four additional Cessna 402s to assist with the major growth.
Cape Air was also looking to offer services 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. Ultimately they lost out to SeaPort Airlines, which was able to start service sooner than Cape Air. However, 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. The airline also expanded operations 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 (BWI). Service out of Baltimore ended in October 2012.
In May 2013, Cape Air named Linda Markham as the new president and chief administrative officer.
Cape Air carried 750,000 passengers in 2014 and offered up to 550 daily flights, achieving revenues of $120 million. Cape Air is the largest independent regional airline in the United States, with new routes driving steady increases over time.
In 2016, Cape Air started flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Bimini, Bahamas.
Cape Air flights in Guam continued operating under the United Express branding following the merger of Continenal Airlines and United Airlines in 2012. On April 16, 2018, United Airlines announced the end of its partnership with Cape Air. Services ended on May 31, 2018, which marked the end of United Express operations in Guam, along with the retirement of the last turboprop aircraft in the United Express fleet.
In early 2016 the company had canceled flights citing a shortage of pilots. The Air Line Pilots Association disputed the existence of a pilot shortage instead citing low wages as the reason for the lack of pilots. Cape Air takes on pilots as co-pilots after 500-750h in entry-level roles like instructing. They are promoted to captain after 1,500h as first officers and they can join partners JetBlue or Spirit Airlines after 1,500h again in around two years. Cape Air also recruits pilots over 65, the mandatory retirement age for FAR Part 121 airlines, so long as they maintain a first-class medical.
In 1994 Cape Air merged with Nantucket Airlines. Since then, Nantucket Airlines has operated as a sister airline to Cape Air focusing on flights between Nantucket Memorial Airport and Barnstable Municipal Airport. Nantucket Airlines utilizes a small sub-fleet of Cessna 402C Businessliners/Utililiners painted in Nantucket Airlines livery.
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.
Cape Air and American Airlines (AA) announced a code-sharing 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 code sharing agreement since 2010, which allows passengers from Marion, IL, Owensboro, KY, and Kirksville, MO, to connect in St. Louis, MO. This ended on July 31, 2023, and those airports now have service to Chicago, IL via Contour Airlines.
Cape Air has been a longtime partner with United Airlines (UA) and offers a code sharing agreement for many destinations. Passengers traveling through the Caribbean on select codeshare flights can enjoy special through-fares, advanced boarding passes and the ability to earn miles on a Cape Air flight.
Cape Air partners with the following airlines to provide interline flow-through ticketing and baggage transfers:
Cape Air's fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Britten-Norman Islander||4||–||9||Operates in the Caribbean|
|Cessna 402||68||–||9||To be phased out. 9th seat is the unused co-pilot chair.|
|Eviation Alice||–||75||9||To be the first use of an electric aircraft for passengers.|
|Tecnam P2012 Traveller||30||66||9||To replace the Cessna 402|
In November 2010, Cape Air announced that it was considering new aircraft types to replace the Cessna 402. In April 2011, Italian aircraft producer Tecnam announced it will be producing the Tecnam P2012 Traveller. The aircraft made its first flight in July 2016. The first aircraft was delivered to Cape Air in March 2019. Cape Air formerly utilized the ATR 42 for United Express operations in Guam. However, when United retired its propeller fleet, the partnership ended between the two airlines. At the 2019 Paris Air Show, Eviation Aircraft announced that Cape Air would add the electric Eviation Alice aircraft to their fleet.
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