New CAL plane en route to Grand Cayman

| 30/11/2018 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service

The ribbon cutting ceremony in Seattle, Washington, (L-R) Kishore Korde, Air Lease Corporation; Ricardo Cavero, The Boeing Company; Phillip Rankin, Cayman Airways; Steve Hazy, Air Lease Corporation; Fabian Whorms, Cayman Airways; Andrew Zollers, Boeing

(CNS): Cayman Airways officials took delivery of the first new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after a ceremony in Seattle yesterday hosted by the aircraft maker, Boeing. The first of four new planes contracted by the national flag carrier will arrive on island today (Friday 30 November). Fabian Whorms, President and CEO of Cayman Airways, who went to Seattle to collect the new plane from the leasing company, said the new fleet will gradually replace all of the current 737-300 jets. However, the acquisition has not been without controversy.

“Following a competitive public tendering process, the unique lease structure and terms offered to Cayman Airways by Air Lease Corporation has afforded Cayman Airways the ability to be the first B737-8 MAX operator based in the Caribbean,” Whorms said in a release, though he has been reluctant to reveal the exact costs.

At the handover ceremony Steven Udvar-Hἁzy, the executive chair of Air Lease Corporation, said nothing about the deal Whorms has claimed CAL negotiated, but said that the plane was “the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft to enhance the airline’s overall operations, maximise customer comfort and bring a new standard of excellence for travellers”.

Whorms has stated previously that the investment in the aircraft will be cost neutral in the long term. The new planes have 30% more seating capacity, with the potential for a 30% fuel cost saving, and technology that improves performance and reduces operating costs.

Philip Rankin, Chairman of the Cayman Airways Board of Directors, said that after buying the 737 jets in 2014 it was expected that they would need to be retired within 3-5 years and they would then be replaced by a new fleet that would cut costs.

“In 2016, our business case demonstrated that the Boeing 737 Max 8 was the preferred aircraft, but was expected to be out of reach financially. However, the unique terms and pricing of the successful proposal from ALC made these aircraft a logical replacement choice for our retiring B737-300s compared to any other available mission-suitable aircraft, be it new or used,” he said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Very exciting!! But don’t you mean Dart’s new plane?

  2. Anonymous says:

    taxes coming…brace yourselves!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a Brexit beal

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to our own Caymanian Ms. Olivia Scott for her excellent marketing and public relations at CAL, including promoting the new planes.

    • Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

      Cayman Airways is our National Airline. Proud that The Cayman Islands has its own airline. Without it as we saw during the sad days of hurricane Ivan, we would have been left to perish. Sad that the same old people and management are still at Cayman Airways. And have so much bad habits when it comes to hiring certain Caymanians that have the experience, some things will never change. As it goes in Cayman not what you know, but who you know that now gets you hired in Cayman. Wish our pilots all the best as always and the aircrews. To me they are the best in the world. I say this cause I’ve flown many airlines and I always feel safe knowing, that we are in the best hands. Also to our mantience department a big thank you to all.
      God Blessings to all and to our mascot Sir Turtle. A pround Caymanian.

      Thank you all for keeping us all safe in the air and on the ground.

      Chet Oswald Ebanks.

    • anonymous says:

      You have to be a relative.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations are out of order, they should be saved for when the planes are running at, or close to capacity and profit making.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sir Turtle needs to be proudly restored to his instsntly recognizable glorious position on the tail.

    Sir Turtle stood out at any airport.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Manna for the masses. Shame on you Alden and the cabal that run CAL. Broken education system, an upcoming generation that cannot afford housing for their families and this is what you allocate precious resources on. This is nothing to celebrate.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Money would be better spent on the airport. Why do they still have the same number of immigration and customs officers? Why is the departure area smaller than it was previously?

    • say it like it is says:

      I left for MIami on the 1.40pm American flight on Tuesday Nov 27th. There were well over 250 people lined up outside security and it took me more than 45 minutes to clear my bags. I asked the supervisor why they only have two lines processing bags, the exact same number as they had 25 years ago, and his response word for word was “they are working on it”.If it’s like this midweek now what will it be like weekends over the Christmas period?.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t one of these planes crash recently?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well now we know where the surplus 155M will be spent – subsidizing CAL!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I know that the Caymanian delegation to the ribbon-cutting exercise is a minuscule part of the cost of the aeroplanes but it shows a lack of concern for costs that makes it hard to believe ‘trust us this is the best financial deal but we won’t show you the numbers’.

    (I think the numbers will bear out, but it shouldn’t be hard to prove.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, why have so many government members and heads of authorities gone for a WEEK to cut a ribbon? This is blatant mis-use of public funds. Why the need for a ribbon cutting in Seattle AND a ceremony on arrival? It simply isn’t justified and just another way for government members to get a free and unnecessary trip on the public purse – sickening!

  11. Anonymous says:

    still get to sit in the worst terminal for hours on end in MIA, still getting charged extra for baggage… still not getting any airmiles…. still going to be using AA I’m afraid.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are wrong on 2 counts:

      KX has one of the most flexible airmile plans and if you get a Butterfield Visa Gold Card, you can rack up loads of miles.

      KX didn’t charge for up to 2 checked bags until very recently. AA started charging for bags to the Caribbean several years ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        KX loyalty miles suck! You cannot use them on anyone but KX. At least with other carriers the airmiles can be used on the oneworld or star alliance plan. Oh and with a Butterfield platinum card you can rack up loads of miles with American.

  12. Anonymous says:

    is this a new plane or a newer old plane?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wonder if Caymanian and ex-CAL captain Kennedy Panton will deliver this aircraft? He works for Boeing as a delivery pilot.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think so, current CAL pilots will go to deliver the airplane to Cayman Islands

    • Anonymous says:

      No, he is on the big stuff now. Someone that Caymanians can be proud of but look what they did to him! Stiil, it worked out for him, better job and more respect.

      • Anonymous says:

        That would have been wonderful KP is much above them, but we should be
        proud of him. Wondering what Captain Scott was doing there when he retired
        long ago and pass his age. I can just hear all the fighting that went on with the
        piloted.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So exciting. Cannot wait to meet her!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    lionair

  16. Anonymous says:

    The more complicated planes get the more problems they will have over time. This is a risky move to lease 4 new but unproven planes of which one has already crashed due to pilots not understanding the new technology.

    I wish CAL good luck with these planes and hope they dont turn into a nightmare…

    • Anonymous says:

      Said the armchair CNS airline pilot.

      Let’s be real, the most aviation experience you have is listening to the safety briefing as a passenger, dontcha?

      • Anonymous says:

        You know, I think many 737 Max passenger candidates are considering the recent real world event. The un-airworthy 737 Max used on LAI610 was just 2 months old and had flown just 800hrs (the last 6 hrs being hair-raising). If any of our planes were to crash, that would be the end of the national air carrier – the stakes are high.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t need to be a pilot to know the ergonomically changed planes will require extensive training to fly 100% safely. I’m sure, because I know this, CAL pilots are great and represent Cayman well. They will no doubt have learned a lot from the last incident and will learn every new system so these will operate safely.

        My problem is I’m still skeptical of these new planes. Like modern road cars, they will no doubt have packed these with the new best technology which means more can go wrong with them. These systems seem like they will also be more complicated over time to service than the current designs (my opinion). There will be a learning curve to these new planes as they see many flight hours over the coming years.

        Plane is now here and it looks amazing. I’m a cautious fan.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, that was off topic and uncalled for.

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