A new direct flight from Albany to Boston has been proposed due to high demand from the Capital Region for service to the Boston area and Cape Cod, Michelle Haynes, spokeswoman for Cape Air, said.
“We had been talking for a long time about it,” Haynes said. “We want to provide flights to where people want to go.”
Travel between Albany and Boston is common because of the draw of students from the Capital Region to Boston-area colleges, commuters and vacationers to the Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The proposed route could help Cape Air, based in Hyannis, renew its contracts with regional flights from Albany to Ogdensburg, Massena and Watertown. Competing airlines are proposing flights from these North Country towns to major metro areas, like New York and Boston, but not Albany.
Haynes said Cape Air decided to include the bid for a direct Albany-Boston flight long before there was competition to their North Country flights to Albany.
“We proposed that long before they filed opposing bids,” she said.
Cape Air’s Albany-Boston flight would be three times daily, aboard a nine-passenger plane. Haynes estimated the flight time would be under an hour. Cape Air’s fares range from about $50 to $130, each way.
Cape Air and competing airlines Charter Air and Gulfstream will have their bids voted on by local governments, but the final decision is in the hands of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Haynes said the USDOT will take local support for the service into account.
Ogdensburg City Council approved a resolution to keep Cape Air the essential service, according to the city clerk’s office.
There is also support for Cape Air’s proposed direct route to Boston from Albany’s Common Council. Councilman Dominick Calsolaro said he wasn’t sure how much input the council would have, but from a personal standpoint, he said the route would be very convenient if it were established.
“My daughter’s in school in Boston,” said Calsolaro, whose daughter will be a sophomore at Boston University. He said he’s sure he would use it “if it was affordable, or if it was an emergency, which has happened before. She’s on the women’s soccer team; she’s come home a couple of times already.”