Cape Air chief administration officer Linda Markham will be the next president of the Hyannis-based carrier, becoming the only woman president or chief executive of a North American airline, according to Cape Air. She will succeed president Dave Bushy, who is retiring, on March 18.
Markham, 49, started Cape Air’s human resources department in 2002 and worked her way up to executive vice president and chief administrative officer in 2010. She had no aviation experience before she joined Cape Air, which also operates Nantucket Airlines and has 1,000 employees and serves 37 cities. But now she’s hooked.
“Once you get bit by the bug, it’s really hard to leave,’’ she said.
Cape Air founder and chief executive Dan Wolf, who is also a state senator, said that having the country’s only woman airline president is significant only because it’s surprising that most carriers are run by men.
“It’s a stark reminder of how far we have to go,’’ he said.