CAL’s Barbados flight to end after review of route

| 10/05/2024 | 99 Comments
CAL staff hold the flags of the Cayman Islands and Barbados

(CNS): The controversial Cayman Airways flight that was subsidised by the Barbados Government through its tourism unit has been canned. The short-lived route, launched to much fanfare, was introduced largely to increase inter-island travel around the region and help with airlift to Barbados. However, the flight failed to attract significant numbers, with flights reportedly leaving Grand Cayman almost empty on numerous occasions. The destination was added to CAL’s itinerary last October and will end completely in July.

A joint press release issued by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in conjunction with Cayman Airways Limited and the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism and Transport said the service will be reduced to once a week from 17 May before the last flights on 3 July.

BTMI Chief Executive Officer Andrea Franklin said a comprehensive review of airlift into Barbados had been conducted over the winter season. “Following the evaluation of the route’s performance, the BTMI and Cayman Airways mutually agreed to terminate the arrangement,” she said.

Franklin said the CAL route was established to enhance airlift between Barbados and both the northern Caribbean and the West Coast of the USA. However, over the past six months, the BTMI has seen an increase in seat capacity from its key markets; other airlines have increased their flights, and the country has seen a surge in demand. Thanking Cayman Airways for its support, she said there was still a possibility of future partnerships.

Meanwhile, Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said the ministry understands the need for flexibility in the ever-evolving landscape of air travel.

“The mutually agreed termination of this contract allows both parties to explore new opportunities and strategic destinations,” he said. “Throughout the contracted period, Cayman Airways has diligently fulfilled its commitment to provide reliable, quality service between our countries. Moving forward, our national airline will continue to prioritise tourism and domestic routes, utilising our aircraft to support these vital connections.”

Following the announcement of the route last year, the airline and the tourism ministry came in for criticism as it appeared unlikely that the route would be a success and would distract CAL from routes that would be far more popular with residents here and potential visitors.

Almost from the beginning, the flight loads were said to be low. However, CAL had said that it would not suffer financially as the deal with Barbados guaranteed the airline a small profit regardless of the passenger numbers.

Nevertheless, there were concerns that the aircraft used for what became two flights per week could have been used to fly to other, more relevant destinations for Cayman.

Cayman Airways said it will continue to operate until 3 July to facilitate travel for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Passengers with bookings for travel after that date will be contacted for assistance with rerouting or refunds as needed.

Passengers can also contact Cayman Airways directly by calling 345-949-2311 or 1-844-443-6038 (toll-free in Barbados).


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Category: Local News, Travel

Comments (99)

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  1. Uni Chick says:

    Can they open more routes to south america . Bogota will be a great route please.

  2. Annonimous says:

    Why don’t CAL look into routes to Houston?

  3. Anonymous says:

    All EVERYONE I speak to wants is an 8am Miami flight and an 8pm return.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If Cayman Airways specialised in the Miami route, it would not be long before other airlines would codeshare.
      We could be running 6 flights a day all full and making real coin.
      Challenging times beeds innovative leadership.
      So, not gonna happen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any half-wit would have known this route was a bad idea, so the person who conceived it isn’t even as smart as a half-wit!

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    • Anonymous says:

      He’s still making a salary and benefits that would gag a goat – to say nothing of the fringe benefits from “political contributions” – and bears absolutely zero responsibility or accountability for the outcome. So is he really that stupid
      ? Morality is a different issue – stupidity, think not.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:09 pm. true any one with a brain the size of a pea would know that, that CAL run would be a bummer

  5. Anonymous says:

    So stupid they didn’t hook up with Virgin to connect to the UK and cut out awful BA

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    • Anonymous says:

      Everybody and his pupa knew this was a flop from day one. The Minister was only focusing on arriving in barbados for his tourism meetings. His huge ego was the driving force behind the entire fiasco. If Barbados has’nt been paying for the use of our planes then he should have to pay the money himself. He should also be asked to resign.

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  6. Washington says:

    Through the history of CAL; Jamaica has been the most profitable route in the Caribbean. We are thankful to the traveling public including the many Jamaicans, Caymanians and other nationals who traveled the Jamaica-Cayman route.

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  7. ELVIS says:

    VEGAS. SOMEWHERE WHERE THERES LIFE AND ENTERTAINMENT 1 PER MONTH.

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  8. Jo says:

    We all knew this would happen and look, it did happen.
    Customers won’t get the flights that they really want like the early morning and late night flights from Florida.

    Spend your money with other flight carriers. Skip Cayman Airways.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Kinda interesting to have someone with his background in charge of ports and the airways. Probably nothing…

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