Cayman Airways to airlift more people to US

| 24/04/2020 | 108 Comments
Cayman News Service
CAL aircraft (Photo by Paul Tibbetts)

(CNS) UPDATED: Cayman Airways’ has added a second repatriation flight to Miami next Friday, 1 May. The two charters, in partnership with the government, will only be carrying US citizens or those with transit visas from here. Neither flight will bring back passengers as Cayman’s quarantine facilities are full. The flights are aimed at taking people trapped here home, as the economic pressure to repatriate those without work or legal status mounts.

CAL is also putting on extra connecting flights from the Sister Islands earlier in the morning to enable people in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman who wish to use the repatriation flights to Miami. The original plan was for just one flight but after tickets on the first flight were sold out in hours it was clear there was sufficient demand CAL officials said for a second airlift flight but seats are still available.

The governor’s office is now heavily focused on airlift. Another British Airways charter will take more people to London from here next week and Governor Martyn Roper is talking to several regional leaders.

Claims that an evacuation flight was leaving today for Le Ceiba in Honduras, which were made on a TV news network last night, were denied by officials, who said that the arrangements for a flight to that country have not yet been confirmed.

Organising evacuation flights to Jamaica was stalled while the government there developed quarantine protocols to enable the large number of Jamaicans living abroad to be repatriated. However, the Jamaica Observer has reported that more than 20 Jamaicans stuck in Antigua since countries began closing their borders will be flying home today, Friday, paving the way for controlled return of more of its people.

Those returning to Jamaica today will be quarantined to 14 days in a designated government facility.

Meanwhile, all passengers wishing to take the flight to Miami next Friday are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary travel documents for entry into any foreign country. For tickets and the full details of baggage allowance, pets and health and safety measures visit the Cayman Airways website or call 345-949-2311 or 1-800-422-9626 (toll free in the USA).


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Category: Local News, Transport

Comments (108)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While I have limited sympathy for businesses that purport to have banked less than a month of staff payroll, it would be helpful if the forward-looking scenarios were articulated better so more people could get on the same page with what the lockdown objective is. Let’s stay 6ft apart inside the supermarket and keep this in (a) please:

    (a) Stay home Cayman. Nil-very limited Curve. No sustained local COVID community transmission. Success leading to staged local business/beach re-opening in weeks ahead, with distancing measures in place. No unrestricted international travel until a vaccine, or without 14 day hard quarantining. Some minor frustrations, but ambient levels of law and order.

    (b) Some Community Transmission. Curve begins to fill. Cases keep popping up. We stay in lock down curfew/distancing mode longer with most stores/businesses closed. Hard curfews longer/more frequent. More policing issues, and widening community stress.

    (c) Heavy Community Transmission. Hospital capacity maxes out. Difficult hospital triage choices being made. Full hard curfews. Unrest.

    (d) Rampant Community Transmission. Spike in untreated caseloads. Bodies pile up. Hospitals/police overloaded. Looting and violent protests despite hard curfews.

    • Anonymous says:

      My question is why did the government not ensure enough rooms allocated for quarantine if you have flights coming from Canada, UK and USA? If you know you have 60 passengers in total returning from all 3 jurisdictions that need to be isolated they should have ensure 20 rooms per jurisdiction or get another hotel. There are people in the USA that want to come home but can’t because no rooms to quarantine in. So when will the next flight be that allows passenger from the USA?

    • Anon says:

      Why do you think that hospital capacity will max out when that has not happened in most places in the USA and even in only one hospital in harder hit New York.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And the groveling to Jamaica will come in a few months. Therefore, Cayman would be wise to play nice. Jamaican 🥭 so good too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    OCEAN = FOOD. Duh.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can they bring back pool chemicals? Asking for 1200 friends.

  5. Ebanks In Bodden says:

    No cruise ships = no tourists = 80% less government revenue = fewer jobs = more poverty = despair = crime & violence = flight of capital = skilled workers leave = lower standard of living = a slow death spiral into becoming another economic disaster like Jamaica. The best days of Cayman are behind us and worst is yet to come. Start growing our own food and save every penny. Life is going to become much harder for all of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, tourism only contributes 8% to GDP. Read the Chamber report!

      • Anonymous says:

        8% percent, I doubt that… Gotta be more like 40%…trickle through the economy

        • Anonymous says:

          8% of GDP and 3% of Government revenue. It is a distraction providing direct employment to relatively few Caymanians, and at derisory wages. The profits can be substantial but accrue to a small but well connected oligarchy.

          • Anonymous says:

            You will know soon enough how much the Tourism Sector really contributes to the Cayman economy.

            Any idiot can pay for a study to support their position. However, the best study is that of real life.

            Suppose that you also believe that financial services is the primary driver of the construction sector?

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t believe that for a second. 8%??? The figures are being fiddled then. The 3% revenue I get but not the GDP figure. I guess we’ll find out EXACTLY how much tourism contributes as there won’t be any for at least a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      The entire world is in the same boat. This won’t happen. Read the history books for the reason behind what happened to Jamaica which has plenty to do with leaving the UK and the US screwing them over in the beef trade and other exports.

      • Anonymous says:

        10.12am… what a joke. They screwed themselves and everybody in their path.

        Donkey beef????? Haitians still buying it! Big big $$$$$$$

        Praying hard for the deliverance of the Cayman Islands.🙏

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone gets to share in USA dick

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, Dick Trump is sharing his ignorance with everyone.

          Stay off the Chlorox and Lysol.

          • Anon says:

            Apparently you have not listened to what he actually said. No mention of Clorox nor of Lysol. Trump was referring to an actual process whereby ultraviolet light is introduced into the body to disinfect a infective agent.

            Here is a URL to an abstract about the process Trump was referring to:

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122858/

            If you rely on CNN and the sorry like as a news source you are doomed to be seriously misinformed.

      • Ronald Bartsch says:

        you all will see the drastic impact has on your lives from lack of tourism, more poverty and soon tourists will abandon the island for fear of crime. then you maybe can commiserate with your buddies in Jamaica,

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism revenue is (was) only 3% of total revenue

    • Anon says:

      When I go out anywhere I think I’m in Jamaica already. No Cruise ships goinng to change that fact.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Ebanks In Bodden
      But…but….but… isn’t that what Caymanians want? Expats all to leave and there will be full employment for locals? You would think so reading some of the dross on here sometimes. But the smart ones fully realise that if that happened Cayman would be a ghost town very quickly.

  6. Newshound says:

    What TV news network? We haven’t got one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So now we can’t have a taco? Thanks a lot Alden.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m confused. Why?

      • Anonymous says:

        He’s kicking out all the Mexicans.

        • Anonymous says:

          Worry more about the Indians. They running practically every commercial kitchen here. Laugh if you want but many people here cant cook!! Not me, eaten out two times in 5 weeks.

          • Anonymous says:

            The Indians also are running the best hospital on the island.
            Be thankful Bobo.

          • Anonymous says:

            Agreed. I never cooked but now I’m staying home & cooking & finding not only can I do it, but it’s cheaper.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok. Well tacos are pretty easy to make.

        • Anonymous says:

          He’s building a wall. Just what is needed. Forget the tests as the wall is #1 priority.

          • Anonymous says:

            And as the stable genius said last week, “it’s going to be a great big beautiful wall”. Guess he’s got his priorities mixed up, but that’s not news.

        • Anonymous says:

          Numbnut, Mexico City provides the best flight connection in all of Central America.

          Guess what countries can be reached directly from there?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, the same Mexicans that work illegally at all the meat processing plants and pick the vegetables and fruit in California. Another brilliant move by the stable genius.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mmmm tacos

  8. Anonymous says:

    Meat packing plants are closing in the US. This will eventually affect US export.

    Food supply crisis is coming. Zero action is taken to grow at least some food locally. Would have employed many people.
    East End chicken farm that was rejected could have come in handy.
    If hardware stores remained open, many people would have started small gardens.

    Premier’s optimism has no real basis. Better leave if you can.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eat your lawn chicken whiner.

    • Anonymous says:

      We should start making arrangements now to bring 2 ships a week with fruit and vegetables from Montego Bay. The food supply crisis is coming. Jamaica is a good source of food but we need to move fast.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sure, and the ships can take unemployed Jamaicans back. Win win for everyone.

        • Anonymous says:

          How many Jamaicans are unemployed currently?

          • Anonymous says:

            Guessing around 2,000 at this stage. Will be more next week as construction sites remain closed. For now mostly in tourism/restaurant/retail/vehicle maintenance/transport and parts of the education and healthcare sectors.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:o4, Suggest you be nice to Jamaicans as their food supply might save your life when you have no food.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:00pm…no thank you and they are going to need their food! Our best option is since they have such a good source of food – send their people back.

        According to the Jamacians here their life is rough. Send them now.

        • Anonymous says:

          1:50, Know you are a smart ass but you do realize that when Trump cuts off food exports we are screwed. Your hatred seems to know no bounds, however, when you are starving your thinking might change.

          Remember, we are totally dependent here on American food imports.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting in that Bahamas past emergency funding 2.1 million to support agriculture.

      I’m sure we’ll have food at 2x price..

      • Anonymous says:

        You will not have any food at all when Trump bans American food exports.

        We will have to call Mother in London at that point. Some benefits being a colony.

        • Anonymous says:

          Mother in London for help… Clearly you havent read the last 150 years of history here… Short of an invasion don’t think they are coming

    • Hafoo says:

      Your are definately an alarmist..should have been planting years ago,as I did.now you talking about back yard farming..try so go sit down

      • Anonymous says:

        Make sure you guard you garden 24×7. Unfortunately this is coming.
        And thank you for making a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:11 even if that does happen the government have already stated that they know of suppliers in south and central america (who produce allot of beef) that are willing to do business with us. Are government aren’t just going to sit round and do nothing. They will and have thought of alternative food suppliers in mind. Please don’t start writing food shortage messages on here. It only causes people to worry and subsequently panic buy which worsens the situation for everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      5.12pm —- I agree…please, please.leave if you can. We did it before we can do it again. Please give the Premier a break he is doing great, you all need to go. Stop complaining and just go!

      Like some Americans – impatient and ungrateful. Here again The President is not God.

      • Anonymous says:

        Kind of hard to just go with borders being closed and complex lengthy negotiations happening behind the scenes. Can’t we just be a bit more understanding of the situation ppl have found themselves in?

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I wouldn’t say ZERO action; we have always had farmers and personal farming. I suspect there are more now. There are a lot more fruits and vegetables that we could be growing also, like tomatoes and cukes and squash and beans. My ancestors mostly grew those tubers which were easy to grow and required little water, plus fruit which grew from trees. With a little ingenuity, we could all do a lot more.

      When I lived in an apartment, I grew most of the tomatoes I needed for my family on our little terrace. There is nothing like a fresh tomato. Okra grows easily. Cucumbers, melons, squash, peppers, all grow well here. If a person is willing to use hybrids, they have more of a variety of things that will survive here. Russet potatoes will grow here, but seem to be a waste of space to me. Still, if there were no more, I would grow them.

      Agriculture Department is now open for those who want seeds. http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/agrhome/announcements/COVID19%20Operational%20Hours

      • Anonymous says:

        Good comment. Thank you. Zero actions from CIG after they attended agricultural show in Jamaica last year.
        “This is important as we continue to not only expand our own locally grown agriculture products, but also seek other sources to help diversify Cayman’s access to food supplies.” Premier had said
        https://caymannewsservice.com/2019/08/minister-premier-speaker-jamaica/
        Didn’t know Minister of Education is also Minister of Agriculture..🙀

        • Anonymous says:

          If the Minister of Education is also the Minister of Agriculture then there is absolutely no hope. We will starve to death if Trump cuts U.S. food exports.

          Our only hope will be to ask Mother in London to send a huge ship with food supplies.

          God Bless The Queen. 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

      • Anonymous says:

        Good points Big Beau, however, because of the high cost of water here the prices are going to be very high. We will need to bring in a large amount of product from Jamaica to keep the prices reasonable especially with chicken.

    • Anonymous says:

      WTF! Stop the fear crap. Everything will revert back a couple decades and all will be fine and we will recover the decades back within a year with more controls in place.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:28, Whether you like it or not meat shortages have begun in the USA. This is not fear mongering but a simple fact. Donald Trump will not give it a second thought to hang the Caribbean out to dry.

        It was only very wealthy Americans, a couple who were substantial Republican donors to Trump in Florida, who also had properties in the Bahamas, that finally convinced Trump to send food aid and the Coast Guard into Bahamas after the big hurricane hit there.

        • Anonymous says:

          So what convince the common wealth of nations to do 10x less? We are after a part of the UK and common wealth not the US…oh but the big boys make the rules as he who plays the piper plays the tune. Waiting on London… Better not… Food from JA all day of you have the money… AgribTech from Isreal and we won’t need JA or US if we start hydroponics in the swamps.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are bang on 5:11. Can I suggest someone, Fosters or Kirks or anybody else give thought to bringing 2 big boats a week from Montego Bay with fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken, etc.

      The food crisis is coming so let’s be prepared. Trump will cut off food exports to the Caribbean immediately if food is in short supply. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

      We need to start establishing food supply lines from Jamaica NOW.

    • Anonymous says:

      Already meat shortages today in New Jersey according to my son.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bring Caymanian siblings stranded in Miami back. Or explain why it is not being done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was explained in the article. Hopefully they’re in Miami learning how to read.

    • Night night says:

      The Governor said their is no space in the Government control isolation environment. The question i want to know is why is all the media outlets refusing to ask how many people are in government control isolation/ hotels?

      How much rooms do we have for isolation? It would be nice to have real investigative journalism in the Cayman Islands. Oh well we all can dream. Night night.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because, despite the ties that Alden proclaims we have with UK we have 10x more dispora in the US.

      The dispora in US are the most useful they actually send stuff to CI after hurricane. UK are the come lately and last decades globalisation schemes.

      That globalisation coming undone real quick.

    • Anonymous says:

      There have been several flights that have come in from Miami less than full. A lot of these people are waiting out, hoping that things will get better there and thinking there will always be another flight. If they wanted to come home they had plenty of opportunities.. The onus is on them now..

    • Anonymous says:

      The quarantine facility is full, read the article.

      • Anonymous says:

        We could open another quarantine facility – especially if people are willing to pay for their stay. Meanwhile they are paying to sit in hotels in Miami and elsewhere. It’s not like we do not have hotel rooms available.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought Caymanians support each other through thick and thin. “quarantine facility is full” is a lame excuse. In fact, it is disheartening to see how people are treated. I understand that xenophobia is rampant here, but they are Caymanian! The young man had a serious surgery and needs support and encouragement to recover, not lame excises and indifference.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman kind is a myth.

          • BeaumontZodecloun says:

            No, it is not. Most of us have become more self-absorbed recently, but CaymanKind is still alive. I can see it where I live — people helping each other, always working within the last name lettering that allows them to move around. We work with each other, but we can also do a lot more.

            I think we need to also extend our help to the expats that are caught in limbo here. Can you imagine being in another country, working, and then suddenly everything is closed down? We need to sustain these working relationships. Things will open up again. We need to keep the core expat people that have made our “country” work. We need to do it because we are a people who are comprised of people everywhere; because we are a people who support each other in the best and worst of times.

            We can get through this. The expats that live here will help us, but we must right now help them. It is the right thing to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        5:51am full yes! But filled with whom – impoverished Status Holders is my guess.

        I really hope we have learned our lesson.

        • BeaumontZodecloun says:

          Listen to what you are saying. “impoverished status holders”. Caymanian Status Holders are CAYMANIANS!! You want to push the narrative that people were given status that then brought in their poor relatives. I think that may have happened to a small degree, but does it matter? Status Holders are Caymanian. Get it straight. YOUR and MY relatives had DNA from all around the world. Did that make them lesser or better?

          Be a better person. Help people who require it. That is the best of what we can be as a people, especially now, where we are all under the cloud of an invasive virus. Be a better person. Help people who require it. Your Karma will thank you.

          • Anonymous says:

            It matters because it has usually only happened because politicians and government officials acted contrary to law in allowing it. The importation of poverty has been substantial.

        • Anonymous says:

          Theres no such thing as indigenous Caymanians. We are all expats, just a matter of when we got here.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s ppl like you and Beaumont above that restores my faith in the ppl of Cayman. I came to Cayman in my early 20’s for work, I’m now in my late 20’s and I have Caymanian family here so my thoughts recently have been to stay here. However just seeing the hatred and discrimination is a deterrent for me. I wonder who is the rightful caymanian? The man who can trace his roots 10 generation back or the man with only 2nd or 3rd generation caymanian? I’m a educated and a productive member of the Cayman society and I thought only that should matter. It is so disheartening to see some of these comments. I hope it will get better, but its seems it will take the passing of multiple generations for the tearing down of each other to stop.

    • Anonymous says:

      They shouldn’t have waited so long. There was plenty of warning and planes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman Kind! He had serious surgery, for Pete’s sake! Where is your compassion to your fellow Caymanian?

    • Anonymous says:

      But why did the siblings not come out on earlier flights?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Economic pressures? I can’t understand why they are leaving. We keep being told that money problems are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is staying locked inside no matter how long it takes and if you whine about money then you are only being selfish and don’t care if people die.

    • Anonymous says:

      That only works if you’re on the press briefing panel, getting full pay, benefits and, from the looks of some, nine square meals a day…

  11. Anon says:

    We should adopt the U.S approach which was no repatriation to Jamaica would mean no more U.S. visas. Permission was granted immediately.

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