Cape Air’s new facility will support good-paying jobs and economic development in Western Illinois
QUINCY, IL–(ENEWSPF)–February 23, 2012. As passenger traffic at Quincy Regional Airport reaches an all-time high, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin signaled the strength and importance of the Quincy community’s relationship with Cape Air today by dedicating a new facility for regular and unscheduled airplane maintenance. With this facility, Cape Air increases its presence in the Quincy community and adds three highly skilled and good-paying jobs to the area, with the potential for additional job growth.
“The opening of this maintenance facility shows that Cape Air believes in Quincy and in Western Illinois,” said Durbin. “The facility will support Cape Air’s operations in Quincy while safeguarding the reliable and affordable air service that residents have come to expect. I particularly want to thank Mayor John Spring and Senator John Sullivan, along with Dan Wolf of Cape Air, who have been instrumental in bringing both the airline and this facility to Quincy.”
“Cape Air has done a magnificent job of providing passenger air service for our city and region,” said Mayor Spring. “Business in rural America cannot compete effectively if it lacks a quality air service provider. Cape Air makes our region that much stronger with their presence. Thank you to Senator Durbin for providing and maintaining a strong Essential Air Service (EAS) program in this country. The recent legislation to secure EAS to over 150 cities in the U.S. is extremely important for economic recovery. Senator Durbin led the charge to keep it in place. The addition of the Quincy Cape Air maintenance facility further supports the commitment Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf and the company have made to provide jobs for our community.”
“I’m pleased that Cape Air has chosen to strengthen its relationship with Quincy and the surrounding region by opening this maintenance facility,” State Senator John Sullivan said. “Investments like this demonstrate western Illinois’ tremendous potential for economic and job growth.”
“Since we launched our Midwest service in 2009, the city of Quincy has been a shining star in terms of both passenger traffic, which is at an all time high, and the support Cape Air has received from the community,” said Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf. “From the start we were interested in establishing a maintenance base in centrally located Quincy, and thanks to the efforts of Senator Durbin and Mayor Spring, we are able to make this new maintenance shop a reality.”
“Since 2009, American Airlines has been proud to partner with Cape Air to provide air travelers in Quincy and Marion, Illinois, convenient service to St. Louis and connecting onto American’s domestic and international network,” said Gary Foss, Managing Director, Network Development, American Airlines. Foss continued, “It is a testament to the leadership of Cape Air and Senator Durbin that this service has been so well received by these communities and continues to thrive.”
Since Cape Air began providing air service to Quincy in November 2009, the airport has seen a significant increase in traffic. Partnering with American Airlines, Cape Air has served over 14,000 passengers to and from St. Louis, with that number expected to grow to over 20,000 in the next year.
Durbin has long worked with Mayor Spring and State Senator John Sullivan to cultivate and improve air service in Western Illinois. The Department of Transportation’s approval last April of Cape Air as essential air service provider came after a letter Durbin sent to the agency supporting the airline’s application. In the letter, Durbin cited potential jobs that could come to the region—including the jobs being supported by the new maintenance facility. The long-term, four-year approval began on December 1, 2011 and will last through November 30, 2015. During this period, Cape Air is required to fly 36 weekly nonstop roundtrips from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to Quincy and Marion, Illinois.
On October 22, 2009 Durbin and Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) announced that Cape Air was awarded its first Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts for Quincy and Marion/Herrin. The announcement followed a request from both members that the DOT initiate a process of finding a new carrier for service after the previous carrier, Great Lakes Aviation, had failed to negotiate a critical code-share agreement with American Airlines. Cape Air began providing air service to Quincy in November 2009.