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, 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.
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.
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, lead 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. 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 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. 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.
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.
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 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cape Air based in Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States.
The airline offers regularly scheduled passenger service between Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis and Nantucket Memorial Airport on the island of Nantucket. Nantucket also has service from Boston Logan Airport to Nantucket Memorial Airport.
Nantucket Airlines, or ACK Air as it is commonly referred to (ACK is the 3 letter identifier for Nantucket's Airport) utilizes a fleet of 6 Cessna 402C Businessliners/Utililiners (the Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines fleet consists of 60 Cessna 402Cs with 5 painted in the ACK Air livery and the remaining 55 painted in the Cape Air livery).
Although the 5 ACK Air planes are generally used for the Hyannis-Nantucket route, it is not uncommon to see the planes used on other routes in the Cape Air New England region. Cape Air planes are also used on the Hyannis-Nantucket route during peak travel times.