Cayman to become OTs’ air-bridge to UK

| 19/03/2020 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is to become a central link between the UK and the rest of its Caribbean Overseas Territories during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cayman is in discussions with the UK to create an “air-bridge” to Britain for emergency supplies that can be passed throughout the region. From Sunday, regular British Airways passenger flights will cease but such a bridge will prevent the UK and the territories in this region getting cut off.

Speaking at Wednesday’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus situation, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that he had been on a conference call earlier in the day with the leaders of other overseas territories and the OT minister in London, Baroness Suggs. He was told that the UK is sourcing additional essential equipment and supplies and the British government, despite its own challenges with COVID-19, was committed to assisting the territories.

The premier said the UK was determined that “an air-bridge between the UK and its OTs” is maintained, and given the quality of the infrastructure here, Cayman will be at the centre of the link. He explained that Cayman should be able to use Cayman Airways jets or the Saab aircraft to distribute equipment, personnel, medications and the like to the other OTs.

Governor Martyn Roper also emphasized the importance of retaining the link with London during this period.

Meanwhile, uncertainty about the remaining British Airways flights between Wednesday and Sunday was raised but the governor said that Sunday’s final British Airways flight had not been cancelled. He said it would be bringing returning residents and departing Sunday night with all those passengers wanting to get to London. British Airways has confirmed that the flight will operate and that seats are still available on this flight.

However, the governor has still not said if residents here who want to return home to countries without direct flights from Cayman will be able to transition through the UK. The many airport closures around the world are making it difficult for some expatriate workers currently in the Cayman Islands trying to get home to countries in Asia and Africa.


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Category: Local News

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    10.am briefing – We all need to stfu and get through this. Idiots no guarantee (stupid talking about Easter Camping) what idiots. for God sake Alden is trying – so stop wasting his time. My God where are you living that you can’t walk around your house for a break. Come on now some of you seriously can’t be this dumb.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr premier… let them use the Caribbean Airlines to service the other Caribbean Islands and leave us to take care of ourselves. Dam this shit got – to – stop.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians what the ports closed. That is one of the reasons we settled here to be insulated from viruses and diseases. So why in the hell we must be a hub for the Caribbean. We want our ports closed that our lives can be somewhat normal.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    BA are grounding their 777 fleet. They might not even survive if this runs past 6 months. The statement is that A350 and B787 will be on long haul duties, if GCM doesn’t feature in their Nav database, they won’t be coming here at all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wet least some a321’s problems solved bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      BA not coming we hope they never come again, they are a big problem. U k would not shut their schools 2 weeks early and let the students finish on line.they had to keep them open to the last so students that wanted good grades had to stay, and come later with more chances of bringing the Coronavirus home. And then they made Cayman the Hub for the Caribbean. Putting Cayman more in harm’s way, shame on the Premier for agreeing to that

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The Governor needs dissolve the LA and exercise direct rule. UK announced it will cover 80% of the salaries of the private sector retained workers, up to £2,500 per month.

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  6. Cisco says:

    Something is not right Cayman? Why are we an airbridge to an epicentre to Covid-19 have we not seen the news about London’s situation and spread why are we the guinea pigs for some Logistical scenario??? Its bad enough that we have allowed a hoard of uncontrollable students to return from hot zones to please mommy and daddy putting countless persons at risk! The government needs to check its self spreading fear and panic amongst its own people and residents! Our 2 MLA from eastward are sure scarce these days too busy securing their Quarantine Zone no doubt. Cayman watch what our leadership is doing and not what they are telling us Please!

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    • Anonymous says:

      9,32am. I totally agree – this is a ridiculous move. When are we going to learn. Come on Cayman let your voices be heard let’s not let this happen.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If they don’t come here first, how should the supplies get to Cayman?

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      • Anonymous says:

        If the UK agree the concept of an air bridge for the BOTs whats the difference between supplies coming here first, then some of them being sent to other BOTs, and going to another BOT like Turks first, then our share coming here? Don’t trust your fellow BOTs but of course they should trust us? Sigh.

    • Anonymous says:

      “to please mommy and daddy…”? Pathetic. You obviously don’t have children, and if you do, shame on you. And btw I’m Caymanian wanting my kids safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.32am… you nailed it… here we go again … why do we always have to jump to their rescue? When are we going to learn? Letting in all these dam parasites on us. Well well , us good Caymanians could not stop/change this madness – BUT thank you GOD you have again showed us all who is in charge.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is the leading Overseas Territory in many ways. Don’t knock this, it’s recognition of the standing we have with the UK FCO. And we are the first in line for the aid and assistance that may be on the plane. Not like we will not have spare capacity with Cayman Airways, not other OT has that capabilty.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And Cayman Airways aircraft can get into BVI, Anguilla, Montserrat? Don’t think so. Remember IRMA?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Why put additional burden on us. This is only self-serving. The US one UK’s biggest allies stooped all flights form the UK and Northern Ireland. I have heard about experts visiting but I’m yet to hear of any supplies sent here! We ae so far from the other OTs so how are we going to provide a bridge to them.

    Sadly, the UK like the US has botched this COVID-19 response and now presents a high risk and clear and present danger.

    Maybe the Premier is working on getting his next Royal gong!

    And they should be been out long ago with the press conferences as we the people need to hear from our leaders.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    This makes no sense at all. The RAF are going to fly supplies 1000 km past Turks, which has a considerably longer runway, to off load onto Cayman Airways aircraft which would then fly 2000 km each way in the opposite direction to Anguilla and Monserrat and 1800km to BVI? Why? Because Cayman Airways has aircraft (can they even fly a 737 into BVI let alone Anguilla)? As opposed to using Provo as as the primary air head – where the longest leg would be 1200km away and pre positioning either Cayman Airways aircraft or a RAF C130 there. Appreciate the Governor is not a military man, but surely he is taking advice from people at MOD who understand logistics – or has looked at a map. Then again, this is the same thinking that sent a chopper 800km hours to Nassau to drop off medical supplies for stranded Brits when BA has a flight going through Nassau. I guess if its your football you get to set the rules, eh.

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    • Anon says:

      Yes…i see your point and as they say in the UK….”the Cayman Islands is on the otherside of the Caribbean”..this certainly puts the Cayman Islands at a higher risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:11

      1. The RAF will not move C130s and their support staff out to Provo in the present circumstances.

      2. CAL has the infrastructure to handle this from here.

      As for the airports? The story reads – ‘Cayman Airways jets or the Saab aircraft’ but doesn’t specify the destinations. Where did you get Anguilla and Monserrat from? I can tell you from experience the latter is an airstrip, not an airport so supplies will have to be transferred from somewhere else.

      If you don’t think they got it right – email the Governor’s office and tell them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Anguilla and Montserrat are 2 of the other 4 BOTs the airbridge is meant to supply. And you clearly have no idea of what a C130 can land on.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe whole truth is being told Aldens tone gave it away. Cayman will most likely (IMO) be bringing in people to treat with Covid 19 from other OTs if not from UK itself. The financial markets are showing the UK is in for a rough time and CI with just 1 hospital up and running to take back our students. You would think they would be safer in UKas we don’t have our ventilators yet Sad times…. seems that the UK can’t manage its own affairs and we may be left to big brother other OTs.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Rendition point for dissenters.

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  12. AllOptions says:

    Needs the RFA Argus hospital ship as well. Along with the Lynx helicopter. That would be a good isolation platform as well as relief for local medical personnel.

    Practice for hirricane, earthquake and Tsunami scenarios.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Putting suspected cases on a ship has repeatedly been shown to be the worst thing to do.

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      • Anonymous says:

        That’s not what they would do. The suspected cases would not go on the ships. They would go into hospitals and the people in the hospitals that did not have the virus would go on the hospital ships. That is what is now being done on the water off NYC and California with the U.S. Naval Hospital ships.

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        • Philip says:

          The USA hospital ships are two weeks away from being operationally ready, that’s a long wait if thing’s go pear shaped in the the northeast and California, don’t believe everything Trump says

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    • Anonymous says:

      The way things are going in the U.K. they will certainly need the RFA Argus hospital ship at home. Things are deteriorating rapidly regarding the virus in the U.K.

  13. Say it like it is says:

    At last OWIA will finally have an air bridge.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    A bridge that can also distribute the virus.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    sounds like baloney to me….

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Good idea.

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  17. who cares? I do! says:

    You complain about everything,wow. The planes could be bringing medicine, food etc, you don’t care about that all you can think of is noise. you are to pitied.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense because it’s an easy flight for the RAF’s C-17s and CAL has the resources to distribute supplies. What about fuel supplies?

    As for ex-pats trying to transition home through the UK my advice is don’t risk it. At best you’ll end up stranded in the UK, at worst locked up in an immigration detention centre.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stranded in a locked down London (Boris trying to prevent large-scale spread to other regions). Unless you are from London, not worth the risk as you say. We’re supposed to get out by Sunday, but already know we have no way to get home (family live hundreds of miles from London). UK foreign office advises us to stay put, so that’s what we’re doing. Can only hope immigration heard the premier speak on this point today.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are best staying in the UK. We don’t need your germs here. Indigenous Caymanians have enough to put up without foreigners making this situation worse. Also, stop calling Smith Barcardere Smith Cove.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Evil foreigners. Not only bringing germs here to contaminate the pure indigenous god fearing population but they stoop so low as to call Smith Barcadere Smith Cove. No limit to their depravity. Probably the ones who bought up all the toilet roll.

          • Anonymous says:

            What about returning Caymanian students who may be infected – Evil Children of the soil?

            Foreigners from some of the Asian countries use water – the most clean thing to do, like biget.

            Learn to use water – if you wipe your lunch plate with a tissue and then smell it, you can still smell the food. That’s the reason dishes are washed with water. Got it!

      • Anonymous says:

        9.25am – your problem!!!- you all need to get OUT.l of Cayman.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And what about noise pollution? So much aircrafts on a runway that is not even extended yet 🤷🏽‍♂️

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:22 = Idiot!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Can’t we just enjoy 3 weeks of quiet and zero emissions from these planes? People who are prepared don’t need an air bridge. For being in such a vulnerable (to tropical storms) area you think people wouldn’t live such a carefree life. Get wise! Be prepared!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pollution and noise 2.22pm???? That’s the least of your worries!!
      You want to be here in the U.K. where everything is shutting down, schools not expected to reopen until at least September and Corona Virus on my doorstep and in the same apartment building as I’m living in!! You have nothing in Cayman….at the moment! You should be eternally grateful that people are going out of their way to help, putting their own lives at rush. Get a grip or you won’t survive!!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        People in Cayman are naive and don’t seem to think that COVID-19 is coming there too. The problem is that once a virus like this pricks your bubble world the damage that it can do if you are unprepared can be immense. This is a time to be supportive and help others in the region. Work together to fight the virus.

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:22 = Troll

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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a global pandemic and your worried about noise pollution, even with the multitude of flights in and out of here on a regular weekend.

    • Anonymous says:

      The plural of aircraft is…..aircraft.

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