Cayman Airways Announces Service to Denver
Cayman Airways has announced the addition of a new seasonal flight between Grand Cayman and Denver. The nonstop flights will begin on March 2, 2019. The service, which will be the longest scheduled commercial flight ever operated by the airline, will be operated by new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Cayman Airways’ fleet currently includes three Boeing 737-700s and one Boeing 737-800. among others. At the time of writing, the carrier’s US network include Miami, Tampa, and New York JFK.
“Cayman Airways plays a key strategic role in providing airlift to the Cayman Islands and so we’re excited about the introduction of non-stop service between Grand Cayman and Denver, Colorado,” said Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “Denver is well known as a community of avid divers who will be thrilled by having the convenience and opportunity to dive in Cayman more often. We are especially pleased that the arrival of CAL’s first Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft this November will help to support dive tourism due to the aircraft’s ability to serve long-range destinations.”
The route will be served twice per week throughout peak travel periods of December through August. Flights will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“The introduction of the Denver route is a milestone for Cayman Airways as the longest scheduled commercial flight we’ve ever operated in the airline’s 50-year history. It is just the first of many benefits our national airline will achieve for our country with the Fleet Modernization Plan that will see our National Airline boast having the newest jet fleet in the region, while being the first Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operator in the Caribbean,” said Phillip Rankin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cayman Airways.
“The new Denver nonstop service will reduce the travel time to Cayman from typically between nine and eleven hours using multiple flights, to less than five hours aboard a direct flight on our brand new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with industry-leading comfort and legroom in both our Business and Economy cabins, combined with our renown Caymankind in-flight experience, which includes free Rum Punch,” said Fabian Whorms, the President and CEO of Cayman Airways. “We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors from the Mile High City with our special introductory round-trip airfares starting from USD$396 plus taxes.”
“The move by Cayman Airways opens new vistas for our national airline, taking advantage of the capabilities of new Boeing 737-800 Max aircraft to increase service to (and more importantly, from) the populous and prosperous United States West Coast,” reads an article published by the Cayman Compass. “Establishing this foothold will facilitate travel to Cayman for Denver-area vacationers and the more than 60 million people who fly through the Denver International Airport each year. Cayman’s flight offerings are becoming truly impressive, with direct flights to major hubs in New York City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, and now Denver.”
Airline officials say that the route is part of a strategy to target increased tourism from cities on the US West Coast. A service to Los Angeles or San Francisco is also a consideration. Such a service would require a longer runway at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman. An extension is expected to happen within a few years.
“There will be further movement towards the west,” Whorms said. “That is where the future of Cayman Airways lies. It will lie with longer missions, direct flights giving us a competitive advantage over other destinations that will not have direct flights from these more distant gateways.”
The Cayman Islands are especially known for scuba diving. Colorado is home to the sixth largest population of scuba divers in the United States and is one of the fastest-growing states for scuba divers, according to the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association. A new route between the Cayman Islands and Denver provides Colorado residents with easy access to one of the world’s thriving scuba diving hubs.
This route to the Cayman Islands will be Denver’s first and only non-stop service to the Caribbean. Denver is the second largest US aviation market without nonstop service to an island in the Caribbean even though demand can reach 650 passengers per day. Denver is also the largest US market without nonstop service to Grand Cayman. Denver Airport officials say that demand to Grand Cayman has grown over 10% over the last year.
“This week’s announcement demonstrates that in its 50th year, Cayman’s national airline still plays a key role in our islands’ tourism industry – particularly in terms of creating new markets,” writes the Cayman Compass.
“Each new airline or a nonstop destination provides our residents and visitors more options to explore the world, while also creating new tourism and businesses opportunities here in Denver,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We thank Cayman Airways for investing in our community, and we’re pleased to welcome them as the first Caribbean-based airline to serve Denver.”
“We are delighted to welcome our newest airline, Cayman Airways, to [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Denver], as they provide nonstop service to the Caribbean,” said Kim Day, the CEO of Denver International Airport. “This will be a great option for our large Scuba diving population as well as for Coloradoans just looking for a way to explore the Cayman Islands and relax on the beach.”
The Denver service will start at $500. Airline officials acknowledge that the route will likely not be profitable at first. Whorms says that the route is a “strategic tourism” route, which means that the service is subsidized by the government because it fits with a strategy of attracting new tourists to the Cayman Islands.
“From the country’s side, from day one, it will be profitable. There is an economic return from the visitors coming to our shores,” Whorms said.
We calculated that there is tremendous opportunity in the western U.S. Denver is our first gateway, and I emphasize the word first,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.
The new route will make it easy for passengers from cities like Vancouver, Seattle, and Los Angeles to reach Grand Cayman by connecting through Denver. The new route will not require additional investment from the government of the Cayman Islands.
Cayman Airways isn’t only on the offensive, however. It recently pulled out of Dallas Texas, as three other airlines now connect Dallas to the Cayman Islands. Cayman Airways is also reducing frequencies in its services to Miami and Cuba, as demand has decreased on both of those routes.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, jetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all operate routes to the Cayman Islands.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]