RAA 2014: Cape Air adds Bridgewater State to Gateway pilot programme

Cape Air, which according to its president, Linda Markham, has provided a pipeline of pilots for larger regional airlines, has expanded its Gateway training programme by signing an agreement for training with Bridgewater State University

Markham said the move made Bridgewater State the third Gateway academic institution alongside the University of North Dakota (UND) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). “We are looking for further agreements with other schools too, but there is nothing firm yet,” noted Markham, adding that the airline has seen the pilot attrition rate “spiking” recently.

“Right now, we are not parking planes, but we might,” Markham added with reference to the pilot shortage being faced in the US.

Markham has just celebrated her first anniversary as president of Cape Air and confessed that the 12 months had been a baptism of fire. “Over the year we opened six cities in Montana, a new part of the network for us. Unfortunately we had to close Florida operations in December. Meanwhile we are looking to open service in St Barts.

“We have introduced three Britten-Norman Islanders into service in the Caribbean and have a fourth aircraft due,” she added. The carrier also has 76 Cessna 402s and two ATR 42s which are based in Micronesia.

Cape Air is still examining options for a replacement for the venerable 402. “We want to make sure when the time comes to refleet, that our selection will be carefully considered. The 402 has been real workhorse for us.”

On the commercial side, following Google’s decision not to support any longer the reservations system that it developed in conjunction with ITA, Cape Air has been looking for and has now selected a new provider to replace ITA/Google. Markham stated that details of the deal will be announced in the near future.

Photo courtesy of RAA.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
St Louis, Missouri, USA

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