British Airways has confirmed its fortnightly schedule of flights up until 23 Sept., and the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism is now requesting two additional flights be added in July and August.
According to a statement issued by the ministry on Thursday evening, due to the level of demand over the summer period, it has requested two more flights between Grand Cayman and London’s Heathrow Airport.
Earlier this week, the ministry released the proposed dates for the flights over the next three months, in response to myriad complaints from people who said they had booked BA flights that had subsequently been cancelled. The ministry warned the public not to book ‘ghost flights’ that appear for sale on airline websites but which are basically speculative dates that have not been confirmed.
After those dates were released, many potential passengers took to social media to complain that seats on those flights were already fully booked. This led to concerns that students from Cayman who are studying in the UK would be unable to return home during the summer break and that individuals in Cayman wishing to visit the UK would not be able to do so.
Responding to those concerns, the ministry said it approached BA to request additional flights departing London Heathrow on 7 July and 18 Aug.
“Once a response has been received from BA, the public will be updated,” the ministry said in the statement.
Cayman Connection, a networking group associated with the Cayman Islands UK office, has launched a survey to determine how many people who wish to travel between Britain and Cayman have been unable to book a flight.
Tourism minister Kenneth Bryan said in the statement, “Following the release of the new BA schedule we received a high number of requests from the public for additional flights to repatriate students, and persons needing to travel to and from the UK. The Ministry has responded to the needs of the community by requesting two additional BA flights.
“I continue to sympathise with families who are separated during this pandemic. Let me reassure you that we are listening and are working hard to facilitate as many repatriation flights as possible during this difficult period while global travel remains impacted by COVID-19.”
Currently, the only airlines authorised to fly into and out of the Cayman Islands are British Airways and Cayman Airways. Dates of approved flights by those carriers are published regularly on www.exploregov.ky/travel and the Travel Cayman portal.
“Travellers who make reservations for unconfirmed flights (ghost flights) directly with airlines are doing so at their own risk. Furthermore, the vouchers issued by airlines, often in lieu of a cash refund when unconfirmed flights are cancelled, are not transferrable to British Airways or Cayman Airways,” the tourism ministry noted in its statement.
2, 16 and 30 June
14 and 28 July
11 and 25 August
8 and 22 September
3 and 17 June
1, 15 and 29 July
12 and 26 August
9 and 23 September