Father organises summer flights to Canada

| 28/06/2021 | 162 Comments
Sunwing Airlines

(CNS): Travel Cayman and the Cayman Airport Authority have given the green light to the father of a student attending university in Canada who is organising two charter return flights in July and August to Toronto. The borders are expected to remain closed to regular commercial air traffic until at least September, so Peter McKiernan decided to pull together the flights that can fit in with quarantine requirements to help his family and other parents with children in school or university there or families with kids in school here that want to return to Canada for the summer.

McKiernan has younger children in school in Cayman and an older child going to university in Canada and therefore has to coordinate the family’s need to travel with the different term times.

Given that the repatriation flights to Miami are already booked for the summer, he is hoping to hear from Canadians who can help him fill up the charter flight with Sunwing Airlines, the same airline company that helped repatriate dozens of pets from here to Canada last year. He has reserved a plane with 189 seats for two legs on the 15 July and 25 August which needs to be confirmed and booked before the end of this week.

“The goal is to keep the cost of the flight as reasonable as possible,” he said. “Right now, that is expected to be around CI$500 per person each way. After two days, the flight is at 35% capacity and we are hoping to have commitments to fill it by 30 June. This is going to have to come together pretty quickly, but it looks like it will happen,” he added after securing permission from the authorities to organise the flights.

Currently, all travel is supposed to be essential. Returning residents who do not have a good reason for travelling will need to pay to stay in government quarantine facilities from 1 July onwards, though isolating at home with an iMsafe wristband remains free of charge. However, quarantine has been reduce to five days for those who have had a full course of a verifiable approved vaccine and parents accompany young students to and from school overseas over the holidays is considered essential.

McKiernan said travel to Canada is also still heavily restricted. “To go to Canada, you need to be Canadian, have PR in Canada or be a foreign national with a legitimate reason to be in Canada, like being a student. To come to Cayman, you must be pre-approved by Travel Cayman. It is going to be up to each person to sort that out, although we will provide guidance after we confirm the flight,” he stated.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Canada charters is asked to submit the online form here or contact McKiernan via social media
or email at caymantorontoflights@gmail.com


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Comments (162)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    29/06@11:23pm – Quite tongue-in-cheek, thanks.

    Filipinos are regularly included in all BA repatriation flights, inbound and inbound, clearly by connecting via London. Perhaps Canadians could do the same via Miami?

    The point of your second paragraph is quite valid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Flying to Canada in 4 weeks via Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Definitely doable. But way more expensive than this trip – wish I had known about it before I booked.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Canadians get s*** done.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Omgosh! Ppl! Everyone was so happy to be in Cayman at the beginning of COVID and people are still trying to come here because it is safe. You all are missing the bigger picture. Get yourself on the next available flight, whenever that may be, and just go. That way you’re free to hop from country to country as you please. It just won’t be this country. Go where like minded people are so you can live in harmony and bask in COVID.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there anything different from March 2020? Something we had no hand in creating, but got for free?

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you babbling about? Maybe your life, job, family, friends and commitments are all confined to these 75 square miles but thousands if not tens of thousands of CI residents aren’t so insular. All we want is more flights so we can actually “get ourselves on the next available flight”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is a nice vacation spot, but it would have absolutely nothing to do with covid why I would want to come on a holiday. I enjoy 7mb, but that is even changing.The weather is warmer there in the winter, but there are many places in the world that have been open that have warm weather in the winter.
      My home town is covid free. I feel perfectly safe right where I am at and I can travel around here. Everything has been open here since last July although we did have to wear a mask for a bit, the mask mandates have been over, too.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hear you. Have been vacationing in Cayman for almost 30 years. I owned a tiny home on the northside for 8 years preparing to one day visit more frequently and for longer periods. However, the events from the past year showed me there are other places to go. Plus, it is shocking how anti-American the island has become. There are much friendlier islands, and cheaper, that will happily take visitors.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah good luck with that, they don’t want you there either.. And Doesn’t look like things are much better for you onshore either. Happy Independence Day to you all the same, Bud!

        • Anonymous says:

          9:25 am, come to Cayman Brac. We Brackets love Americans .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians, residents, and expats have connections overseas whether it’s with university, medical, family etc – it is completely irresponsible to leave out Canada for “repatriation” flights. Time to open the borders once and for all and stop killing the tourism sector which *news flash* needs tourists!

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a good size Filipino population here..very irresponsible to leave them out for repatriation flights too.

      If we go to every country that someone wants to go to it totally defeats the purpose for which he borders have been closed.

      • Anonymous says:

        But they were ok coming here pre-covid through multiple hubs and airlines, now the Cayman Islands is irresponsible because no one has offered them a direct flight back home for free?

      • Anonymous says:

        So open them

        • Anonymous says:

          What part of “NO” don’t you understand? We are not laying on flights for vacationers. These flights have always been for essential travel and now it is virtually impossible for kids to even come and go to university because everyone is booking their normal vacations as if the borders were open.

          • Anonymous says:

            What part of SELFISH do you not understand? Family is just as important, if not more so for some, than just your students who have been coming and going all this time! Blame your Travel Time Cayman if people have been travelling on vacation. Who has been travelling to Miami partying and shopping?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I feel so awful for our young Caymanians that are trying to better themselves by going to college but are trapped here/there due to travel issues. It’s a terrible predicament to be stuck overseas (probably unable to work) because if they can even get a flight home, there is no guarantee of getting one back in time for school to start.

    Everybody has had plenty of chances to get the jab, it’s long overdue for regular flights to start back.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice try, most have continued school online since the pandemic, and some have even graduated. Seems like only one set of people haven’t figured out how to adapt to the current circumstances!

      • Anonymous says:

        The civil service, who don’t travel and whose employer doesn’t have to earn revenue from business but just extracts it from those that do?

      • Anonymous says:

        2:49, many many schools re-opened last fall and students had to be there. Not everything can be taught online. You are obviously clueless about higher education.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously? Not every student learns effectively online, and not every course of study can be presented this way. It simply isn’t that straightforward.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it time to sell Cayman Airways as private company will fly to Canada and to west coast of USA. Cayman airways staff hands are tied due they have ask government first before do any new flight routes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would we do that when the government can overpay under qualified people to pose for photos?

    • Anonymous says:

      Once friends and fammily are accomadated but that goes without saying

    • Anonymous says:

      29/06@12:47pm – Cayman Islands Government does not negotiate which international routes CAL can fly. That role is held at State (country) level and of course, we are not a State. CAL & CIG may indicate which routes they wish to fly and the rest is done at much higher levels.

      Please note, international aviation regulations allow bi-lateral use of routes. E.g. if a Canadian carrier can fly a Toronto/Cayman route, then automatically CAL has the right to fly a Cayman/Toronto route. So, in this case, CAL already has the right to fly to Toronto or another Canadian destination but from a marketing perspective they have chosen not to – at this stage. However, special category flights, such as charters (and I gather, repatriation) should be no problem for CAL.

      Seeing that CAL’s B737 Max aircraft can fly non-stop between Cayman & Toronto, it would seem that, as usual, CAL is sitting on their hands and allowing another business opportunity to escape. Remember the Atlanta route, the TCI route…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate that there are many in Cayman whose lives do not extend much beyond the islands, and who therefore can manage (and even enjoy) the border closure for as long as it continues. There are many more however who have significant parts of their lives elsewhere – be it family connections, work and educational obligations, or health treatments. Not just expats – many Caymanians are in this group – and not all can be served by occasional flights to Miami or London. While it made sense at first to significantly curb travel, now is the time to let us get on with our lives and re-engage with the world, and to have a plan to do so in a deliberate, phased manner. Not everyone can simply sit on their hands and stay put for upwards of a year, and this is disproportionately affecting our young people pursuing post secondary education and those in need of overseas medical treatment. Let’s start moving beyond “repatriation” flights – which, let’s face it, are simply travel flights now – and start making it easier for those residents who need to come and go.

    • Anonymous says:

      All returning flights from Miami are sold out till September. Feel free to confirm with Cayman Airways.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well said. If CiG is reluctant due to a shortage of traveltime persons to monitor quarantine just hire more for goodness sake; even the PACT government have had more than enough time to plan for this.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are a lot of people government are paying subsidies to because they are unemployed die to the tourism lockdown – why not give them a job at travel time instead? It’s not as if the work requires specialist training, and although its hopefully a temporary one, when the borders reopen and travel time becomes unnecessary presumably their original employment opportunities in tourism will revive.

      • Anonymous says:

        Plenty of people already being paid by CIG via the tourism stipend. Travel Cayman has a tourism related role. Let’s get the people on the stipend who are not already working full time or running their businesses seconded to Travel Cayman.

        It would benefit the tourism worker to learn some new skills and maybe the CIG workers would benefit from having some guest focused hospitality employees working beside them.

  8. just me. says:

    The island will not open until the Civil service feels safe from the rest of the world or they can not borrow any more money for paychecks. The shutdown is hard on everyone but CIG and the Civil Service but the recession will be hard on them and not everyone else. Patience.

    • Anonymous says:

      The civil service won’t feel safe until they don’t work from home while being paid to work from home. Oh… wait…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can never understand this country. Sunwing has to incur two “empty legs” to position the aircraft from Canada to the Cayman Islands where the trip will originate from. Similar to the Nolinair charter earlier this year, as the Canadian government is not letting in leisure travelers currently. There is no way on earth due to that factor plus many others Sunwing could bid lower than Cayman airways to do this charter. Who is the business analyst at Cayman airways ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to not conflate the Cayman Airways issue with this and to make it clear, Sunwing is not flying those legs for free or empty and in fact those legs are for sale to anyone who would like to purchase a seat. If you have anyone looking for a seat from Toronto on those flights please let them know.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, you believe Sunwing is flying the empty legs for free? They don’t like the Canadians here that much..That is what would be expected from Cayman Airways not from a private charter airline that is in the business to make profits..

      Try again, the seats from Toronto will be sold just like the ones from here. Stop trying to make it look like Sunwing is doing something for free for us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear God can you not read? That’s exactly the point the poster is making – Sunwing can make it work on a commercial basis at $500 one way but CAL, owned by the government and not driven by profit, won’t do it and wants to charge almost the same price to Miami, a quarter of the distance. There was no suggestion of charity by Subwibg – just incompetence by CAL.

      • Anonymous says:

        So question then David Neeleman, what do you think happens when Sunwing and/or the charter operator can’t fill all 189 seats South or Northbound? Hint- Ever had a row to yourself when travelling, but you only paid for one seat?

  10. Anonymous says:

    So ridiculous that the government is making things so difficult. BA is sold out as is Cayman Airways. Why not allow a few American Airlines flights a week? Bermuda has around 45 flights a week.

    Irrational dictatorship. So frustrating.

    • sheriff says:

      Even if CIG decided to allow a few AA flights per week those flights would not happen in the near future. AA is struggling to find enough ground crew to work, flights are being canceled daily. And flights to Cayman would not sell if those flights originated in the US because Cayman won’t accept US vaccine cards as proof of vaccination for the 5-day quarantine. And of course, any flights in/out of here are only repatriation flights or essential travel. 😆

      • Anonymous says:

        An article in the compass made a good point. The government will accept the US vaccination card for a 10 day quarantine period, but not for a 5 day vaccination period. What the heck is the difference? Politics!

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely no reason there can’t be more BA flights laid on; it’s not like they don’t need the business!

      • Anonymous says:

        If CIG doesn’t open the borders soon I can envisage BA pulling that route entirely. They are a private enterprise driven by profit and won’t run a service in the long term where there’s little tourist or business traffic.

  11. Anonymous says:

    There is an opportunity for Cayman Airways to gain access to a lucrative market, earn some money and reduce thee losses that government needs to pay for every year. There has to be enough demand for at least once a week flights to Canada particularly with so many Caymanian and expat students needing to travel there

    • Anonymous says:

      I have never understood why CAL wouldn’t organize a flight to Toronto ( at least before West Jet came along)

    • frequent fliar says:

      Can’t CAL make it to Heathrow on their new “longhaul” jets with intermediate stops in Bermuda and the Azores?.Just imagine all those servings of rum punch!.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Once again, the priviledged get a pass!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good for him, at least he is trying to do something unlike the governments!

    • Anonymous says:

      Get a pass? They are not violating any of the travel rules. They are providing flights for anyone who wants them and can pay – incidentally WAY less per mile flown than CAL charges. If you are mad about the limited airlift into Cayman take it out in the govern, not hose private individuals that try and solve the problem taking all the commercial risk of organizing these flights to fill avoid that should be filled by government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Essential travel only?

        • Anonymous says:

          What is “essential” and why is it essential travel only? If you’re willing to quarantine you should be able to travel? You might not think spending time with elderly relatives or getting an education is essential but someone else might. The rest of the world is opened up and now it’s time for us to do so as well. If people choose not to take vaccines, fine, they will get covid. Most will be ok. Hopefully few of them will suffer permanent effects or die. But the rest of us need to get on with our lives now. Covid’s not going away.

        • Anonymous says:

          Some Canadian schools will be in-person learning only starting Sept 2021, because the vaccinated world is moving on.

          • Anonymous says:

            Most US schools are going in person only starting in Sept. 2021, too, because the vaccinated world is moving on.

        • Anonymous says:

          Clearly there are plenty of people here who don’t consider education essential.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is no requirement for the travel to be “essential” – you just need to fit into one of the categories of people entitled to travel here – being resident is sufficient.

    • Anonymous says:

      What great work this Father is doing.
      You should keep in my the wealthiest amongst us Caymanian, and expat have flown off island multiple times while unwashed masses have to wait for yet another incompetent government and Medical Head to decide our fate.

    • Anonymous says:

      How so?

    • Goat says:

      Such a mean and judgy comment. I am one who has a Caymanian child going to Univeraity in Canada and am very grateful he can get there direct.

  13. Anonymous says:

    $$$$$$ get’s flights…. Sad but true.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cheaper per mile than CAL charges. And if you want one of the seats sure they will be happy to sell you one.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish he was heading in my direction or would make a stop as I would gladly hop on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually $500 per leg GCM – YYZ is a really good price. Almost pre pandemic price level. Not like what is happening with the BA flights!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Air Canada used to charge over $1K for a return flight, and that was pre-COVID

      • Anonymous says:

        Well lets not get carried away. Closer to 750 return, but yes it’s def a great price. I would go but not interested in quarantining the 5 days upon return.

        • Anonymous says:

          It was 731 to Miami return when seats were available in July … that to Toronto is a STEAL !!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The B737-8 can easily.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure there is enough demand for weekly flights to and from Canada

  16. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    Too bad Cayman Airways doesn’t have any planes that could make it to Toronto non-stop and are otherwise sitting on the runway collecting dust.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 737 Max-8s can do it with ease.

    • Anonymous says:

      are you kidding? The B737-8 can do Toronto and much further if necessary..

    • Anonymous says:

      6:34..You really should do some research before making such “irritating” and ridiculous statements.

      The B737-8 has a range of just over 4000 nautical miles. The distance between here and Toronto is only 1683 nautical..By the way if had checked before putting your mouth in gear, you would also know that Sunwing flies the same B737-8 as Cayman Airways together with some older B737-800’s. I’m almost certain they will send the older B737-800 for these flights.

      There is always an excuse and attempts to make it seem like Cayman Airways is second class.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways can fly to Toronto with the B737-8 very easily.

      • C'Mon Now! says:

        Dear CNS, would you please add a sarcasm font.

        It is frightening how literal many readers are…

        I count 4 above that could use a hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t know alot about planes then don’t spout misinformation.

      Cayman owns several 737-800s and 737 maxes. The 737-8 and 737 MAX has a maximum range of 2,935nm and 3,550nm respectively. The flight to toronto is about 1500-1550nm, just about 4 hours of flying. The aircraft that cayman airways have is more than capable for the flight.

      Why they don’t do flight to toronto is another matter

      • Anonymous says:

        That was literally the point of the comment. Hence the “and are otherwise sitting on the runway collecting dust”

    • Anonymous says:

      Lmao the fact that no one else who responded to this can understand sarcasm

    • Anonymous says:

      The aren’t flying the BAC 1-11’s anymore , if you take the time to look

    • Anonymous says:

      6:34pm, you know CAL isn’t going to do that. Makes too much sense for them! 🤣

  17. Anonymous says:

    Add some flights, please!! This is crazy!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why not use the national airline and contribute to the Cayman economy? They got planes just waiting to fly!

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell the government and Cayman Airways to get something done about this whole situation instead of petty nonsense renaming roads! People are tired of this no direction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm – because CAL won’t do it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Here in Cayman Islands the fear of Covid is much more than the fear of failure. One of the many ways Cayman is different from the rest of the world. They have never failed to fail.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, our failings have kept your ass safe so that you can get back to Canada fully vaccinated and able to live in a covid free environment for a year and a half..ungrateful much??

        • Not ungrateful at all says:

          Not even close. I am not from Canada but have gone back home once already and will again soon. Not much Covid problems where I am from. Its all open and the economy is great. Ignorant of the other parts of the world much?

          • Anonymous says:

            10:47 am if the economy’s is so great where you from, why are you here in Cayman ? You must be very stupid, to be away from your home where the economy are so great.

            • Anonymous says:

              Our economy is only good because of outsiders! We have nothing but rope! You forget where we come from!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, UK sent free vaccibes! Yes, let’s move on now!

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is so ridiculous. Just open the borders for travel for those vaccinated to go in and out of Cayman no matter where you are from. The needless hardship it is causing is crazy. This has been going on almost 2 years. In the beginning, yes, close the border, but it is way past time for the border to open if vaxxed.

    • Anonymous says:

      They had better all be Canadian on the flight because under current rules no one but Canadians are allowed into Canada.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is incorrect. Canadian residents and students are allowed into Canada, regardless of their citizenship. This includes Caymanian youth who are studying in Canadian universities.

        • Anonymous says:

          Untrue. I know a student who was physically removed from a flight and was unable to continue their studies.

          • Anonymous says:

            Here are the actual rules, rather than what you think they may be or heard on the marl road. Read the rules and tell me that there isn’t something more to the story:

            To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

            You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit

            You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory
            You can only enter Canada if you have all of the required documents and your DLI is on the approved list.

            As a student, you will not be allowed to enter Canada if:

            your study program has been cancelled or suspended
            you’re entering Canada for any reason other than to study

        • Anonymous says:

          You are right about Canadians residents but wrong about students.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do try reading the article.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to understand, life for the fully paid, on full benefits Civil Service is much more peaceful with the borders closed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gee some people exaggerate. It’s not 2 years. Not even 1.5 years yet.

    • Guy says:

      Why is it that everybody needs to listen to Dr Lee only? I just don’t understand it. I refuse to believe he is the smartest one.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why is Canada only allowing Canadian citizens in the country ? Sydney, Australia back into another hard lock down because of the delta variant. Don’t hear y’all complaining that they should open up. Smh hypocrites…

  20. nauticalone345 says:

    Why is it that CIG hasn’t arranged periodic flights to Toronto?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways does not fly to Canada.

      • nauticalone345 says:

        There are lots of places that Cayman Airways didn’t fly to at some point – Honduras and Chicago come readily to mind!
        So there is no reason they couldn’t at least TRY a temporary measure during the current restrictions!

      • Anonymous says:

        Any reason why they can’t?

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s a charter , Cayman Airways can fly anywhere in the world as a charter.. Just because they do have scheduled flights it doesn’t mean they can’t fly there..They have one set up right now for Barbados which is just about the same flying time to Toronto, maybe a little more..

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but they could for heavens sake!

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