Over the next five years the tourism industry is set to grow in available tourism services particularly in accommodation, and the national flag carrier Cayman Airways has positioned itself to meet that need with the modernization of its fleet.
Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Cayman Islands’ economy and the Ministry of Tourism feels it is of the utmost importance to ensure its continued growth. Cayman Airways announced on April 13, 2016 that plans are now approved to modernize its fleet of planes by adding a next generation 737-800 plane by November of this year. Then, using a phased in approach, the airline will bring in the brand new 737-800 Max from 2018 to the year 2020.
Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell said, “This modernization will give our national airline the newest fleet in the region, and also contribute to the growth in tourism via air arrivals as we prepare the airport to accommodate more visitors. This strategic decision will also coincide with the 20 percent growth in room stock for our destination in the next three years.”
With the new fleet of planes, the airline will have the range to reach all major areas of the United States, most of Canada, and will also enable the airline to investigate the development of gateways south of the Cayman Islands. Currently, Cayman Airways transports 43 percent of all visitors that come to and from the Cayman Islands, and with the new fleet there will be an additional 40 seats per plane, per flight.
The Minister also said, “the government is using Cayman Airways to grow our country’s tourism and by adding more seats with these new planes, we are going to bring more people. It is all part of the overall strategic plan.” The updated, more modern fleet will enhance travel experience from start to end, allow for more route options, and provide the opportunity for the Department of Tourism to develop new areas of source markets. The new planes will also offer inflight entertainment and WiFi to passengers. The director of the Department of Tourism, Rosa Harris said, “the fleet modernization provides an excellent benefit for the economy through increased visitation, and it will help sustain the future of tourism in the Cayman Islands by better connecting us to the world.” For more information, visit caymanislands.ky.