Officials React to Island Airlines Closure



NANTUCKET – With news of the closing of Island Airlines and Cape and Islands Air Freight yesterday afternoon, many are reacting to the company’s decision to close its doors so soon.

The airline, which has served the Nantucket community for over 24 years, gave no reason for the departure, but said on their website that they “sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our loyal customers” and “would like to extend our deepest thanks for your business and support”.

The news came as a shock to Nantucket Chamber of Commerce Interim Executive Director Janet Schulte, who found out through a Facebook post.

“It’s certainly not comfortable for the employees and my heart goes out to them with the holiday season,” said Schulte. “I’m sure there’s strategies behind their business decision and whether they communicated it is something only known to them at this point.”

Michelle Haynes with Cape Air was disappointed to hear about the closure of the airline but said that her company is offering to help.

“We are very, very open to the possibility of working with men and women from the Island Airlines family to look at potential opportunities for them to come and work with us here at Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines,” said Haynes.

Schulte said it is a huge blow to the island.

“It’s not good news for visitors to the island and for island residents,” said Schulte. “We always like to have options for getting on and off.”

Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Bud Breault is concerned about the impact the closure will have on travel to the island.

“We need to make sure that all of our modes of transportation between the Cape and the Islands are viable,” said Breault.

Schulte acknowledged that her main concern with the closure of Island Airlines is the freight service that it provided to Nantucket.

Haynes said that is something that Cape Air is looking into continuing for island residents.

“Freight is vital, it’s the lifeline to the island no question,” said Haynes. “We’re going to make sure that we work very, very closely with lots of people to make sure that, that continues. We were carrying freight for many, many years and it looks like something that we are definitely going to be looking at again,” said Haynes.

Although both airlines were known to be competitors, Haynes said Cape Air didn’t see it that way.

“Losing Island Airlines is definitely a loss, but we very seldom thought of them as competition, we thought of them as a collaborative partner,” said Haynes.


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