The retirement of Horizon Air’s Q400s means Seattle has fallen from number one to 63rd.

Cape Air Cessna 402 on stand
Photo: Cape Air.

Like regional jets, turboprops often play a crucial role in global aviation. They are especially important in linking smaller communities and/or providing higher frequency flights (and therefore choice) than might otherwise be feasible. Yet they often go underappreciated and undervalued. This summer, 264 US airports have at least 100 turboprop flights scheduled, according to the latest Cirium data.

Seattle is out but Boston is in

Given Horizon Air retired the last of its Dash-8-Q400s earlier this year, Seattle – previously the US’s number one airport for prop flights – now ranks 63rd nationwide. Boston, which ranked number two last summer, has replaced it for the top spot.

Cape Air Cessna boarding at Boston

Photo: Wangkun Jia I Shutterstock.

The following table summarizes the US’s top five turboprop airports. While Boston is first with a typical 58 daily scheduled prop flights (double for both ways), only one in 9.4 flights is by them. That’s no surprise: it is an enormously busy airport.



Summer prop departures

Average daily*

% of props

Airport’s #1 prop airline

Airport’s #1 prop aircraft






Cape Air

Cessna 402






Alaska Seaplanes

Cessna Caravan


San Juan




Cape Air

Cessna 402






Ravn Alaska







Grant Aviation

Cessna Caravan

* Across the whole season

Cape Air at Boston

Four airlines use props on a scheduled basis from Boston this summer: Cape Air, Porter, Boutique Air, and Air Canada Express. Obviously, the vast majority (83.4%) are by Cape Air and its nine-seat Cessna 402s, along with its nine-seat Tecnam P2020 Travellers.

Click here for Boston-Nantucket flights.

Cape Air has an average of 48 daily Boston flights. As always, averages hide many variations. There are as few as 32 daily but as many as 66. Not surprisingly, the 66 daily occurs on Sundays and Mondays in July, August, and early September.

Boston's summer 2023 prop network
Yellow = Cape Air. Blue = Porter. Red = Air Canada. Pink = Boutique Air.

Image: GCMap.

Cape Air has 10 Boston routes, as shown on the map above. In order of flights, they are to Nantucket (Massachusetts), Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts), Bar Harbor (Maine), Provincetown (Massachusetts), Rockland (Maine), Lebanon (New Hampshire), Augusta (Maine), Rutland (Vermont), Saranac Lake (New York), and Hyannis (Massachusetts). They have an average sector length of 112 miles (180 km) and a typical block time of 55 minutes.


Boston also hosts Porter with its Dash-8-Q400s (9.6% of the airport’s prop flights). With an average of six daily departures, it has service from Toronto City and the newly introduced Ottawa, which launched on March 27th. Air Canada Express last served the route in early 2020.

Click here for Boston-Ottawa flights.

Porter Dash-8-Q400 at Boston

Photo: CK Foto I Shutterstock.

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Boutique Air and Air Canada Express

Boutique Air is only a minor player at Boston (5.2% of prop flights), with Essential Air Service-funded eight-seat PC-12 flights to Massena (New York). It has an average of three daily Boston flights and is subsidized at $5,322,161 for the first year and $5,535,047 for the second year.

Aircraft and crew are based in Massena (given the discussion of Boston, I like the ‘Mass’ bit). Weekday flights leave for Boston at 07:00, 10:45, and 17:30. Returning, they go at 09:00, 12:55, and 19:10. It is dead easy to have a day trip to the big city.

Boutique Air PC-12 taxiing

Photo: Trevor Howard Jones I Shutterstock.

Finally, there is Air Canada Express (1.7%). Using the Q400, it has just one prop route to Boston: from Halifax, 414 miles (666 km) away. Running daily, the schedule varies. Generally, though, AC8663 departs Halifax at 16:25 and arrives in Boston at 17:18 local. Returning, AC8664 leaves at 18:05 and arrives back in Nova Scotia at 20:50.

Click here for Boston-Halifax flights.

Will you be flying a prop in the US this summer? If so, leave a comment about where and with which airline.


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