In an announcement, Kenneth Bryan, the Minister of Tourism for the Cayman Islands, announced that British Airways would offer additional new flights between the Cayman Islands and London.
British Airways announced Monday that additional routes will link the Caymans to London. Minister of Tourism Kenneth Bryan announced the new flights. Upon the reopening of Grand Cayman’s borders for commercial flights by the Cayman Islands on September 9, the British Airways “regular flight schedule” will resume in Grand Cayman.
A number of aircraft have been grounded for a long time because of the pandemic. As a result, Bryan told a group of tourism industry members at a recently held meeting of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association that more flights would be added to meet growing demand.
Since the Cayman government’s closure of its borders due to the pandemic, BA flights between Heathrow and Owen Roberts International Airport operate only once every two weeks, though in July and August one more flight was added. There have been many problems obtaining flights from the United Kingdom to Cayman because the flights have consistently sold out.
The Tourism Minister has stated that the only airlines permitted to fly into Cayman are British Airways and Cayman Airways. As part of the reopening plan, other airlines will be allowed to land at this airport from September. He predicted that the number of people travelling around would rise by just a few percent.
“Consequently, tourism numbers will rise modestly,” he said. “We are using this soft reopening as a trial run to iron out any kinks that may appear in Phase 4″, which begins on October 14. Travelers with licensed vaccines will no longer be subjected to quarantines upon arrival.”
Several domestic airlines which operated Cayman Islands routes before the pandemic have been approached, according to Bryan.
Since the quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers would remain in effect until 14 Oct, those airlines did not expect a high uptake from customers as soon as 9 Sept commenced as the border closure would prevent them from operating at their previous levels before it closed.
There were representatives from American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and British Airways at the meeting. In response to a question from government officials on what could be done to facilitate the return to normal operations, carriers said they would respond depending on the market conditions. During that time period, Cayman is likely to experience 5-10 percent fewer passengers than in similar periods in the past. Prior to October, American Airlines did not plan to operate flights to Cayman.
Bryan responded that additional flights from Heathrow will meet the needs of workers in the tourism industry, who are expected to return to or arrive in the Cayman Islands from countries such as India and the Philippines. According to the tourism minister, Cayman Airways was already operating regular flights to Jamaica, and flight service to and from Canada seemed to have returned to normal.
Among the initiatives Bryan has initiated are a meeting with the Cayman Islands Airports Authority and the Cayman Islands Airport Operators Committee and setting up a task force to deal with commercial flights. In addition, British Airways has announced a weekly schedule for June and July for flights to and from London. Each Wednesday, flights from London and Cayman arrive in Cayman, and every Thursday, flights leave Cayman for London.
Since the Green List is being re-evaluated every three weeks, Cayman has high hopes of joining the list next month. Government officials expect to add a new destination to the green list following the review of the list the week of June 7 and three weeks afterwards. According to the U.K. Transport Minister Grant Shapps, the countries that could make the list are “near-misses” from the green list announced on May 7, which included 12 countries deemed safe to travel as of May 17.