Cape Air is close to ordering Italian-made Tecnam P2012 Travellers, a new aircraft that would replace dozens of aging Cessna 402Cs and a handful of Britten-Norman BN-2 Islanders, Cape Air’s senior-vice president of planning Andrew Bonney tells Flightglobal.
Tecnam is preparing in the next few weeks to roll out the P2012, and the company has estimated the aircraft’s first flight will be in the second quarter of 2016.
Cape Air, which had already signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 100 P2012s, recently sent an “executive delegation” to Naples to study Tecnam’s progress, says Bonney.
He adds that Cape Air is fast progressing towards placing an order.
The carrier will use the 11-passenger, twin-piston-powered P2012 as replacements for its fleet of 83 402Cs and four BN-2s, says Bonney.
He adds that replacements will not occur on a one-to-one basis, but rather will be phased over a still uncertain period.
Cape Air deploys 402Cs, some of which were manufactured in the early 1980s, on regional routes from several US cities, which the largest operation centered in Massachusetts.
The carrier’s BN-2s serve airports with short runways in the Caribbean.