Six BA air-bridge links set for next two months

| 18/11/2020 | 116 Comments
British Airways air-bridge (Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office)

(CNS): Officials have confirmed that there will be just six British Airways flights in December and January, as the air-bridge between London and Grand Cayman will not be operating after the 15 December flight until 5 January. Since last week there has been a surge in public complaints and concerns about ‘ghost flights’ and confusion around dates for December, but on Wednesday the tourism ministry finally confirmed the air-bridge flights.

According to the release, the three December flights will leave the UK on Thursday, 3 December, followed by flights on Tuesday, 8 December, and Tuesday, 15 December, flying back to London the following day. The next air-bridge service will then arrive in Cayman on Tuesday, 5 January, followed by two more on Thursday, 14 January, and Thursday, 28 January.

There had been expectations that in order to boost the economy, government would encourage more property owners to arrive in December, as well as people with connections to Cayman who are in a position to quarantine and visit for a longer period over the holidays.

Although the tourism minister appeared to support this idea at a recent public forum, there will not be an increase in BA air-bridge flights over the holidays. This is despite what is understood to be a growth in demand by people cleared to visit.

In the press release outlining the British Airways schedule for December and January, tourism ministry officials again discouraged travel and emphasised the fact that the BA flight is a still a repatriation flight and not a commercial service.

“Until normal commercial airline service resumes, the air-bridge between the UK and the Cayman Islands is providing a vital link between the two countries. However, because entry into the Islands is restricted to repatriation flights only, service is limited. The public is therefore urged to only consider travelling if it is essential and unavoidable,” officials stated.

The latest repatriation dates have now been uploaded to the TravelCayman online portal, allowing inbound travellers to apply and to request their type of quarantine location. But travellers are being warned not to book any flights with commercial airlines that are not approved by officials here.

“While British Airways is one of the two airline carriers approved by the Cayman Islands Government to operate repatriation flights to Grand Cayman, not every flight or holiday marketed on the BA website is authorised to enter the Cayman Islands. The ministry has received reports that travellers are booking flights and vacations which are not approved and ultimately end up being cancelled,” the ministry stated.

People are urged to check official CIG channels prior to making reservations, as travellers who book flights that have not been posted on official channels do so at their own risk and may incur additional fees when changing their booking to an authorised flight.

Anyone wanting to travel to Cayman must first register their travel request using the TravelCayman online portal and must select their preferred quarantine option as part of their application process. If the traveller is planning on isolating with non-travelling household members, their details must also be entered at the same time.

Questions or concerns can be emailed to TravelCayman@gov.ky
or call 743-8463 between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit the Travel Cayman site here.


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Category: Local News, Transport

Comments (116)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I understand we will be having people from the US coming to Little Cayman to “Home Quarantine”, who will monitor them?
    Are they going to be travelling with regular inter-island passengers, will the plane be disinfected once they get get here?
    Just asking for a friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Just asking for a friend” or do you have some other intent like creating fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) which is a well known technique. The post before this one was obviously written by you as well.
      If you don’t know why post this? Go and ask those that do know and then when you have reliable information then let us know!

      • Anonymous says:

        The people that know don’t respond.

      • Anonymous says:

        People don’t trust government officials to tell them the truth.

      • Anonymous says:

        3.07 what is wrong with them asking? It is a valid question and also a valid concern. Especially with Little Cay being so small.

        1:53 hopefully you’ll be give answers soon. It so difficult to gain any information. Things are so “hush hush”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I designate you as a chief of the quarantine enforcement team. You seem qualified

  2. Anonymous says:

    Found out we will have people coming from US to Little Cayman,
    to HOME QUARANTINE. Who will monitor them, and will KX have someone disinfect the plane? Are they travelling with regular inter-island passengers?
    Just asking for a friend.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I need off this rock!!!! Herd immunity is the way to go!!! Darwinism rules!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Heathrow workers also looking at four day strike during December.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Students just left on last flights to UK couple of months ago, as essential, had time with their families. Others exist too who haven’t seen families for nearly 12 months. Not essential?

  6. Anonymous says:

    oh no!…some poor little rich kids might not be able to make it back for the start of school term…..oh the inhumanity of it all!………zzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. Anonymous says:

    So these flights are called an “air bridge” because Cayman’s government is paying for it. Why can’t BA operate on their own as normal scheduled flights without us paying to subsidize snobbish Brits who want to go on holiday..

    • travel agent says:

      CI Government are not paying for these flights. Passengers are paying. Not sure where you got that information, but is incorrect.

      • Anonymous says:

        CIG is subsiding these flights, without a doubt.

        • A. Brain says:

          Lol like we fund cayman airways too

        • Jotnar says:

          Not according to the Finance Committee- CNS 3 weeks ago

          “ while the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had paid out over CI$2 million on British Airways flights (an issue that had raised significant concern among commenters here on CNS), the reality was that the flights ultimately broke even because government recouped just under $3 million.”

          Making a profit bobo.

          • Anonymous says:

            I love the concept of thumbs downing an admitted fact just because you don’t like the truth.

        • Anonymous says:

          They certainly are NOT. It’s costing me an extra $1200 to get back in January. Your ‘info’ is crap.

        • Anonymous says:

          I paid almost £5000 for one flight, you are wrong

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course passengers are paying but Government is subsidizing the rest. Do you really believe that British Airways would put on these flight on an ad hoc basis for Cayman if they were not going to be subsidized for the empty seats.

        People the British never do anything for us for free. BA is not Cayman Airways, Moses can’t call up British Airways a private commercial airline and demand they run a flight when we say they should without some guarantee they will get paid.

        • Anonymous says:

          Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool than talk nonsense and prove it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Check the hansards of the house when the Government was asked how much to date had been spent on chartering British Airways for repatriation flights..just in case you need something in black and white..

            Methinks it may shut your mouth and you might stop talking nonsense.

            Nothing comes free in this world my friend..

            • Anonymous says:

              Check the same Hansards and you will see the government recovered their seat guarantee money and then some from passenger charges – net gain to CIG.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not snobbish, don’t want holiday, want to see family. Ur family here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? CIG aren’t paying for BA what nonsense! The flights are full price and then some. The airlines are begging for routes to reopen!

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop listening to your MLA’s and your Mom. They don’t know what they are talking about. Nothing you say is the truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one is going on holiday to Cayman right now… To do what? Stare at a wall for 2 weeks while it’s nice and sunny outside and then going home.

      • Anonymous says:

        7:33 no one was referring to Cayman you fool. They are talking about people here going on holiday abroad which is not essential travel.

        Anyone who has a problem with complying with the 14 days quarantine to protect our wider community is not needed here.

    • Anonymous says:

      SHUT IT DOWN

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, BA cancelled their flights to Bermuda as I guess they weren’t getting subsidized, that led to a shortage of flu shots and PCR tests, and I guess the vaccine later this year. Plenty of reasons to have a reliable air link to somewhere other than the US. btw how much has it cost you?

      • Anonymous says:

        BA cancelled the Bermuda flights as they operate out of Gatwick & as a cost saving measure during lock down, BA stopped using Gatwick.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t think that is the reason as BA moved many flights from LGW to LHR to preserve their landing slots, they could have done that with the Bermuda flights.

        • Anonymous says:

          And they could have switched to Heathrow, try again.

          • Anonymous says:

            They stopped flying to Bermuda from Gatwick & will start up again from Heathrow in March. No tourists visit Bermuda in the winter (unlike the snow birds /2nd hind owners coming here) & far fewer students go to the U.K. for education (boarding school or university/college). Parents prefer to send them to the east coast USA or Canada.
            Flights not busy enough for BA to do the airport swap until the warmer months.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only the Brits would deem it necessary to rename a simple “flight” as an “air bridge” or “link”. FFS just call it what it is. A flight. Just like the hundreds of other flights occurring every day. What’s next the CAL air bridge to Miami?

    • A. Brain says:

      We also like to use the call sign “speedbird”

    • Anonymous says:

      its the local yokel mla’s who use the term air-bridge…

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, true! Been in the flight/air industry over 40 years. First I heard it was from an MLA a couple of years ago and now every one thinks it’s a cool word to use, like they know what they’re talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor likes military terms. It’s an air bridge because it’s the Governors pet project. And because it can be used at the drop of a hat to bring in stuff from the UK that would struggle to get here through the States. Like military assistance teams and military supplies for the other pet project, the Cayman platoon – oh sorry, regiment. The CAL flights to Miami are just flights.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why anyone needs to go to the UK except for university and those students are old enough to stay by themselves. Cayman has great schools and for serious medical there are weekly flights to Miami. This really is a first world “problem”

    • Anonymous says:

      Not everyone wants to stay on that Little Rock and further their education. Yes cayman has okay schools but, let’s be honest here, they’re are way better schools outside of cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really ? You’re the perfect example as to why people leave island to go further their education else where lol

    • Anonymous says:

      I could equally say I don’t understand why you need to drive a car every day. Is it essential that you drive your car? Can you walk the 10 miles to work every day and 10 miles back home? Sure you can. You have two legs. Therefore your car is not essential, please don’t use it ever again.
      We live in an internationally connected world and many commenters here have made reference to not seeing close relatives for many months. How long do you have to be separate from your family before you suffer negative mental issues? How long being apart from your family does it take to go from being a first world problem to a real one?
      I have parents in the UK and my children, who I haven’t seen for months, are also at university there. No one is coming here with a two week quarantine. How long would you accept not making a trip before it became essential? 1 month? 6 months? 1 year?
      It’s clear the government don’t really care about this issue because it doesn’t affect them or the people close to them.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Government do care that is why there is a 2 week quarantine period, if they didn’t care then there would be no flights. BTW – I am in the same position as you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Unfortunately I think you are being naive. Caymanians have a constitutional right to enter and leave the country. The only restriction that can be placed on them (and by default other travellers) is a “reasonable” restriction like a 14 day quarantine. If the government didn’t provide this they would be taken to court. This nearly happened with the Sunday curfew and sea / beach access and government quietly and immediately relented.
          The politicians know they have to provide a minimal level of air access. What they could have done and have failed to do is to provide the steps necessary to have predictable and reliable scheduled flights so that people could plan. Up until a few days ago we had no idea about flights occurring after December 3rd!
          Everything that has happened since September 1st has been another version of “just another 14 days” that we had earlier in the year. When they opened on October 1st they didn’t really open, they did what they have done since March 24th. They did the minimum they had to and delayed the rest. Anyone who think this government really cares, please think again. They have a myopic view of their role and responsibility which is centered around their narrow world view.

      • Anonymous says:

        When we seaman had to go to work on ships our contract was for one year that we had to stay away from family, but we did it an never moaned and groaned about it. And went at 16 or 17 without Mama too.

        • Anonymous says:

          Um that was your CHOICE and your JOB. You were being paid to be away from your family. People are being FORCED not to come home. There’s a difference

          • Anonymous says:

            9:21 your lack of respect and sense is showing.

            No one is being forced to stay out of Cayman so shut up. People are making the choice to leave and the complain when they run into difficulties trying to come back.

            However, I will say that students and residents seeking medical treatment abroad should be able to return home and those are essential reasons to travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t go for schooling, they go for Education which is not available in Cayman’s blinkered school system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your view is why Caymanian students leave and never come back. The schools are not “great.” The best are “ok.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please explain this to me?
    We have 1 flight a week in November which makes it look like we are getting back to a routine schedule. For December we have 3 flights and no flights between the 15th December and 5th January, just when people need them over the holidays! And in January we are going back to one flight every two weeks after the 14th.
    In the CNS article it mentions that demand for flights is going up. This is supported by other news articles on this topic which reference sold out flights at different times. Why are we not allowing more flights to happen rather than less than we had in November?
    Once again it is clear that the government isn’t listening to the people who need to travel and they are also not interested in really opening up the islands to those they have listed can travel. It is becoming more than a little awkward that the government have no plan and yet seek to interfere in these kinds of areas without hesitation.
    No plan Alden strikes again!

  11. Anonymous says:

    When can tourists come?

  12. Angry citizen says:

    This is despicable. People are about to be without their families for the holidays and the government could care less. What about the mental health of your citizens mr premier ? You and your team had monthsss to figure out how to successfully open and where are the plans?

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you hadn’t noticed, there is a nasty virus out there. There are also ample opportunities to catch a flight and get away.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since your trying to be a smart ass. They’re not “ample” opportunities to catch a flight when they’re one to two flights per week that sell out fast. So how about you come with correct information or don’t say anything at all. And last everybody knows about this “nasty virus” but it’s not going away anytime soon and we just have to live with it

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh grow up

    • Anonymous says:

      5:35 Grow up. This pandemic is bigger than you getting drunk and rowdy with family over the holidays. Celebrating over FT or Skype will not be the end of the world. Furthermore, if you want to be with family so bad, get the next flight out. There is ample opportunity, however, you appear to be one of those that just enjoys complaining, prat.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The government committed to opening our borders on September 1st and here we are a few months later and we still don’t have “real” flight schedules in place. They lied to us then and will continue to lie to us until they deem, in their sole discretion, that they should open up.
    The quarantine system works and there is no reason why they could not encourage a broadening of incoming travellers to encourage those who own properties here. Whatever the doom and gloom people say we have been running the quarantine system for 2 months and there has been no community transmission. Bermuda’s tourism sector is open and they have been running a shortened period quarantine system with multiple tests required and they have had little to no community transmission and zero deaths. In many ways our quarantine system is overkill.
    We are now in a place where the people making decisions have zero understanding of how our society really works. They believe that the world is just like them and there is no need to have any international links apart from the occasional repatriation flight. They have no concept that many of us have family outside of Cayman and we have personal and business interests that often require us to be outside of Cayman. It is now really clear that not only do they not understand this BUT they have no desire to understand this. It is becoming really shameful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you ! My husband works on island and hasn’t seen his mom or kids since January of this year. I haven’t seen him since March and it’s really putting a strain on his mental health. The government in cayman only cares about the wealthy and what they have to bring on island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haven’t seen family and friends since last August as my trip in April was canceled. This is just sad. I would’ve been down 3 x by now. Not seeing them for the holidays is a first. No one can quarantine for 15 days and still hold down a job.

        • Sad bobo says:

          My husband works for the government and the quarantine restrictions they have put into place makes it impossible for him to leave the island, even for a weekend. They should really consider the bio button again. I would pay $300 or whatever it takes If that beats staying in a four wall room for two weeks

          • Anonymous says:

            Ehhmm – you can? You can quarantine at home, with a geo fence bracelet provided for free by government to residents.

        • Anonymous says:

          I haven’t even met my grandson yet and he’s one years old. Am I moaning? No. I want to live to see him some day.

      • Anonymous says:

        I haven’t seen my wider family since second half of 2019…because there’s a global pandemic underway. Wouldn’t be able to visit or hug my parents even if I was there. Missed all kinds of wedding/funerals/graduations/illnesses and births. That’s the way it goes during a planetary medical outbreak. Classes are online.

    • Anonymous says:

      Open up the borders like Bermuda or some of the other islands without a quarantine system and travelers will return. Covid will not be banging at your door if you do the testing like these other islands are doing. The other places are getting their economy moving.

  14. Anonymous says:

    4:31 pm, Cayman are not making money on these flights,

  15. Anonymous says:

    People don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘essential’ travel. I would love to go to the UK or US, but it is not essential that I go so I am staying right here and giving thanks.

  16. Anonymous says:

    if you ever wanted proof of what a joke the ppm re-opening plan is…..here you go.

  17. Anonymous says:

    wow…we are saved! …ppm-style.
    and cayman thinks it can survive on this????….6 flights from the uk over 2 months?….shambolic by everybody involved at cig.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What a shit show!

  19. Anonymous says:

    What about people stuck in the US? There are not enough seats available for people that NEED to get home to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman airways has Miami flights.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are full.

        • Anonymous says:

          yep…full of covid.

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe on your preferred travel dates. Call CAL’s booking number and be flexible. We had to come a week earlier than we had planned. No issues switching dates or with online Travel Time booking. It’s working pretty well. Anyone willing to put in some crisis-level effort should be able to find a solution, even if that’s not their first choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they took a one way flight it’s debatable that Cayman is really home.

      • Anon says:

        A lot of people have had to travel to the States for cancer treatment and unable to book a ticket to come back.
        I hope you or your family are never faced with the agonising situation of needing life or death urgent treatment and being unable to get it due to no flights.

      • Anonymous says:

        The return leg is not possible if all the flights are already full!

  20. Anonymous says:

    So people booked on flights expecting Thursday / Friday were screwed by the change so late in the day, leaving little options. The flights are over subscribed, leaving people stranded. This cannot go on forever.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is happening all over the BA schedules. Sadly, if you’ve got a flight booked with them it can almost be a lottery whether or not the service will actually run. Obviously, some routes are worse than others but the LHR-GCM service has never been a high revenue operation for them so no surprises here.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re kidding right? That flight is full almost year round and costs twice as much as MIA-LHR. Further as there’s no competition they can run the ropey old planes no one else will accept. GCM is a great run for them.

      • Anon says:

        Due to the current government putting the U.K. back on lockdown and only allowing essential travel BA had to make the difficult decision to go in “hibernation” mode to try and survive financially through the next few weeks.Not a decision that would have been taken lightly.
        They had to cancel most of their flights as they would have been empty anyway.
        Most of the staff had been put back on furlough just as things were picking up.
        The airline industry in the U.K. is on its knees unfortunately.

    • Anonymous says:

      May as well as forget about open border , non restrictive air travel until about 2023 /2024. Just going by some countries estimates. It will take at least this long for any vaccine benefits to trickle down to travel.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unless a vaccination certificate authorized travel.

      • DBF says:

        How the hell will Cayman be able to survive until 2023/2024 if the border doesn’t open? Let us hope this is not the case.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wish it wasn’t the case .Pacific rim countries (Incl’ New Zealand ,Australia , Asia)have stated no travel to the U.S. or Continental Europe / UK until at least November 2021.This will depend on the next 11 months of Covid trends worldwide that would allow the current closed air corridor’s to re-open and airlines to get back to a bare minimum operational footing, with 2023 onwards a return to pre-Covid travel conditions. Reader Caveat; Subject to change.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Crazy

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