New planes open up new choices for Cayman Airways

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New planes open up new choices for Cayman Airways

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Aug 30, 2018 ... n-airways/

New planes open up new choices for CAL

Cayman News Service(CNS)

The arrival of the first of four Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft later this year will open up a world of possibilities for new gateways for Cayman Airways, airline officials said this week, as they announced that the first route the new plans will take on is Grand Cayman to Denver.

This will be the longest ever non-stop flight CAL has ever offered but the airline’s leaders said the planes could fly to destinations even further away if the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport is lengthened. CAL Board Chair Phillip Rankin said the new Boeing 737 planes could take the airline as far as Brazil, and CEO Fabian Whorms pointed to Vancouver as a gateway under consideration.

Whorms explained that even without an extended runway, the Denver route would not be a problem but to go beyond that destination, which the new planes are capable of doing, the Cayman Islands would need a longer runway because it would be difficult to go much further than this new gateway with full loads on the existing runway.

“Denver is not an issue; beyond Denver will be,” he said. “But the Airports Authority has been in the process of doing an RFP (request for proposals) for designs to lengthen the runway between 500 and 900 feet.”

Whorms added that for somewhere like Vancouver the runway would need an additional 900 feet to make it feasible. While it would be possible to alter the thrust capability, that comes with a price, he said.

Potential destinations with the new Boeing 737 planes include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brazil and Vancouver, but the airline managers also spoke about flying to London with a stop in Bermuda.

But Whorms explained that the future of Cayman Airways lies with the airline offering direct flights to destinations that are further away, especially on the western side of North America, that no one other airlines are offering to bring people to the Cayman Islands as conveniently and competitively as possible.

Rankin said the airline was blazing new trails and the Denver route was the first of many benefits the national flag carrier would achieve for Cayman, with the fleet modernisation plan giving CAL the newest jet fleet in the region and the first Caribbean airline operating the Max 8 aircraft. He said that this aircraft was picked because of its ability to fly much further than the planes in the current fleet.

The first of the new planes arrives in November and a second in February 2019, with two more arriving before the end of 2020, giving CAL a chance to support the Department of Tourism’s goals and ambitions to open up new gateways to attract and broaden visitors, especially from the west coast of the United States.

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