Cape Air is in talks with airframers over the carrier's options for eventually replacing its large fleet of Cessna 402 aircraft.

"We're having conversations with various manufacturers that would be able to work with us. But we believe in a multi-engine paradigm. Our request is a multi-engine, nine-passenger aircraft with acquisition costs and operating costs around where the Cessna 402 is at," reveals company founder and CEO Dan Wolf.

Based In Hyannis, Massachusetts, with operations in New England, New York, the Caribbean, Florida, the Mid-Atlantic and Micronesia, Cape Air's fleet comprises 56 nine-seat Cessna 402s and two 46-seat ATR-42s.

Cessna ceased production of the 402 in the mid-1980s.

"As the aircraft get older, clearly we are putting more into it to ensure safety and reliability. We've implemented an aging aircraft programme that is working really well," says Wolf.

However, he notes, the company is "looking right now at what might be a replacement aircraft within three to five years".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news