Cape Air and IFAW Take ‘Whale Plane’ on Cross-Country Mission

Thursday, 10 May, 2007
Hyannis, MA
Today Cape Air and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - take off on the 'Whales Need US' plane tour; a cross-country trip aimed at bringing heightened awareness to the increased threats to the world’s whale populations and the urgent need for their protection.
IFAW Global Whale Program Manager Patrick Ramage and his 12-year-old son Henry will join Cape Air pilot Ken Johnson in a Cape Air Cessna 402 airplane painted to show the beauty of the humpback whales. The plane will touch down in major cities across the United States enroute to the 2007 International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Anchorage, Alaska where they will deliver “save the whale” artwork and messages from American 4th and 5th graders to delegates from more than 70 nations.
“This cross-country trip on behalf of the humpback whales makes perfect sense for Cape Air,” said Cape Air President Dan Wolf. “Since most of our destinations are surrounded by water we have a unique relationship with the whale population. Many of our passengers can see the familiar water swirl beneath the plane and enjoy that moment when the whales leap out of the water. It is an unbelievable experience and one we wish to continue for many years to come.”
Last July, IFAW and Cape Air commissioned famed airbrush artist Jürek to paint the plane with humpback whales to bring whale protection to the public eye.
“Cape Air is generously donating the use of the whale plane,” said IFAW President Fred O’Regan. “This cross-country mission demonstrates continuing collaboration where together we are bringing whale protection to new heights.”
Thousands of tourists choose Cape Cod as a whale watching destination each summer, but few realize that whales are still hunted in countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland. 
“Unbelievably, Japan plans to kill 50 humpback whales this year like the ones pictured on this plane in addition to more than 1,200 other whales, said IFAW’s Patrick Ramage. “We urge the U.S. government to take commercial whaling seriously and take a leadership role in expressing the strongest possible opposition to commercial whaling and so called ‘scientific’ whaling.”
The whale plane will make stops in Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Des Moines, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Newport (Oregon) and Vancouver before reaching Anchorage.
About Cape Air
The newest whale designed plane joins the Cape Air fleet of forty-nine Cessna 402s and three ATRs. Last year Cape Air, the largest independent regional airline in the United States, flew 730 thousand passengers. Founded in 1989 Cape Air, the only Massachusetts based airline, has been providing air service to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world including Cape Cod and the Islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the Virgin Islands, Key West and Micronesia. For more information, please visit

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation