(Host) Cape Air – the Massachusetts based airline that provides passenger service to Rutland- is expanding its reach into upstate New York. The regional carrier will begin flights to Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh later this month.
As VPR’s Nina Keck reports they may add Albany and three other upstate New York destinations as well.
(Keck) Cape Air specializes in connecting hard-to-reach communities with larger airport hubs. Twenty years ago, their focus was Cape Cod and the nearby islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Today, the airline has destinations all over the world including: Micronesia, Florida, Puerto Rico, Indiana and The Virgin Islands.
(Haynes) "Last year, we flew 690-thousand passengers with over 120,000 flights."
(Keck) That’s Company spokeswoman Michele Haynes. She says upstate New York fits in well with their niche market approach.
(Haynes) "We’re flying up to the communities of Massena, Ogdensburg and Watertown and we’re going to be discussing with airport officials in those towns – nonstop service between Albany, New York, Massena, Ogdensburg and Watertown."
(Keck) Those destinations are still in the developmental phase. But Haynes says starting February 12th, Cape Air will begin flying three nonstop flights a day from Saranac Lake and Plattsburg to Boston. She says the success they’ve seen in Rutland reinforced their view about the region’s business potential.
(Haynes) "Rutland – Boston was one of the best start ups we’ve ever done in the 20-plus history of Cape Air. From the minute we started on that route the passenger numbers were just incredible."
(Keck) Airport officials in Rutland say cheaper ticket prices and more convenient flight times have helped boost ridership. Over the past several weeks, rumors had been circulating that the airline might add a new Rutland to Burlington flight.
But Haynes says no such route is in the works at this time. She says with new service to Saranac Lake and Plattsburg starting up this month and potential service out of Albany, that’s where their focusing is now.
For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.