It's a plane that only seats nine people, but Cape Air's Cessna service from Rutland to Boston Logan International Airport is taking off in a big way.
"It's become one of those assets to the region. One of those transportation infrastructure staples," said Tom Donahue of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.
"Our intention and our commitment to the Rutland community has been to grow that service. And here we are today to celebrate that growth," said Andrew Bonney of Cape Air.
In the five years since the service began, Cape Air pilots have flown businesspeople and tourists on three round trips per day, every day of the year. Tuesday, the company announced the addition of a fourth round-trip flight.
Donahue estimates that five years of Cape Air passengers have poured over $1 million into the local community.
"That has the right price point, it has the frequency that Rutland region flyers need. And it's working," Donahue said.
Cape Air's service to Logan airport served over 11,600 people last year, which is only about 5 people per flight, but is also a 21 percent sales growth from five years ago, something Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says is opposite the flow of current trends.
"So what you have is reduction of service by a lot of airlines and airports are suffering because of that, and an expansion of service here in Rutland. And that's an important part of this story," Searles said.
The three original Cape Air flights were funded in part by government subsidies called the Essential Air Service Program which brings air services to rural areas of the country. This fourth flight, however, is paid for without help from subsidies.
"We can talk about the numbers all you want, but when they start adding flights that are not under the EAS program, that's a significant accomplishment. So we're very pleased about that," Searles said.
The fourth flight will only be seasonal for now, taking flight during the summer months. But it could become a permanent route in the future.
Cape Air is also partnering with JetBlue, so you can book a flight from JetBlue's website right from Rutland. It will connect in Boston, but from there, you can travel to any of JetBlue's 40 destinations worldwide.
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