Air Transport World


Cape Air prospers by following the sun from Cape Cod to Key West

Airlines such as Cape Air are throwbacks to an earlier era. One of the last of the independents, Cape Air thrives in a leisure niche almost as old as aviation itself; a split operation serving Cape Cod and the island communities of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and sun destinations in southern Florida and the Keys.

And at a time when many have foreseen the death of the 15-19-seat turboprop, Cape Air bucks convention by operating 10-seat Cessna 402s. Running 40 of the small aircraft, the airline generated around $25 million in operating revenues last year. Cape Air is the largest nonaffiliated U.S. Regional, having carried around 400,000 people last year under its own 9K 2-letter designator. Not bad for an airline that flew 12,000 passengers between Boston and Provincetown in 1989, its first year of operation.

Last year, the Hyannis, Mass.-based airline expanded its southern operation by launching every-other-hour service between San Juan, P. …

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