Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Cape Air

Cape Air
Hyannis Air Service, Inc., operating as Cape Air, is an airline headquartered at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, Florida, the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic States, Midwest, and Micronesia.

Most flights are by small 9 seater aircraft, while Micronesia flights are operated as Continental Connection flights through a code share partnership with Continental Airlines on larger aircraft. Flights between Hyannis and Nantucket, Massachusetts, are operated under the Nantucket Airlines brand, also operated by Hyannis Air Service.

Many of the services are operated as an ‘essential air service’ basis, which means they receive a government subsidy to operate them.

The service is good, the small nature of the aircraft and relative short distances ensure easy and rapid check in and boarding. The pilots are friendly and will sometimes guide you through what they are doing, if you’re interested.  Non peak flights can often see just two or three passengers, great for those with a passion for flying.  Obviously it should be noted that there is limited space on the aircraft, so baggage should be kept to a minimum.

Our Rating 4 stars 

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History
A Cape Air ATR 42 in Guam, wearing codeshare colours.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 south-eastern New England. Services in Florida and the Caribbean were added in the late 1990s, and service in Micronesia commenced in 2004. In 1994, Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines merged and now offer hourly flights between Nantucket and Hyannis.
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 subsidized by the U.S. government under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
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With the help of a government grant, Cape Air expanded into Indiana on November 13, 2007, offering flights from Indianapolis to Evansville and South Bend. The airline did not get the passengers numbers needed to be financially successful once subsidies would come to an end. 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. Cape Air commenced service from Rockland, Maine, and Lebanon, New Hampshire, to Boston on November 1, 2008. 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. 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.
The airline has also broken into the mid-Atlantic region. Cape Air provides regularly scheduled flights from both the Hagerstown Regional Airport and the Lancaster Airport to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
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Cape Air operates EAS Service from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to Cape Girardeau, MO, Kirksville, MO, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, Marion, IL and Quincy, IL. This brings much needed travel options to a hard hit region of the US.
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.
Cape Air is the largest independent regional airline in the United States and carried more than 680,000 passengers in 2009, with new routes driving steady increases over time. Cape Air offers up to 550 daily flights system wide.
Fleet   As of November 2010, Cape Air's fleet consists of the following aircraft:
2 x ATR 42-320  seating  46 passengers – operated in the Micronesia.
62 x Cessna 402 62     seating  9 passengers
In November 2010, Cape Air announced that it was considering new aircraft types to replace the Cessna 402. On April 18 2011.
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.

In June 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 cancelled for two days while the counterweights were inspected and replaced as necessary. Normal service resumed about four days after the initial fleet grounding. 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."
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 take-off from runway 33, the plane went down about two and a half miles from the airport, killing the pilot who was the sole occupant. Prior to this date, Cape Air had maintained a fatality-free record over its 18-year history.

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