A sleek new airplane rolled in to the local airport Tuesday evening, and it was already getting ‘rave reviews’ from pilots and passengers Wednesday on the first full day of service.
The Tecnam P2012 Traveller is the upgraded aircraft that will be used for all Cape Air flights going forward at the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport.
Airport Director Rob Barnett said the benefits for the travelers are significant.
“The airplane is much quieter,” he said. “It is a high-wing airplane, so you have an unobstructed view. It has charging ports for your electronics — your laptops, your cell phones, all those things. There’s more leg room in this aircraft. It has leather seats and air conditioning.”
The Tecnam has the same capacity as the old plane, but it does have a higher weight limit and more baggage space.
While many of the new amenities benefit the consumer, it also provides plenty of bonuses for the airline.
“The aircraft is more economical to operate,” Barnett said. “The aircraft is faster. The aircraft is very reliable.”
The arrival of the new Tecnam Traveler was delayed significantly because of COVID-19. It is manufactured in Italy, which was hit hard by the pandemic and as a result closed their borders early on.
Barnett said the Tecnam is designed to serve regional airports the size of OWB, and it will service all three daily routes — two to Nashville and one to St. Louis. It completed the first full day of service Wednesday.
“The pilots are incredibly pleased with the airplane,” Barnett said. “It’s receiving rave reviews so far. We have frequent flyers here, and they have expressed their appreciation for the aircraft already.”