Ministry of Tourism Provides Clarity on BA Flight Cancellations
New fortnightly schedule proposed
Since the start of the pandemic the Cayman Islands borders have been closed to commercial air traffic and the only passenger flights approved to operate during this period are to facilitate repatriation travel.
To enable the return of Caymanians, residents and other approved visitors, repatriation flights serviced by British Airways (BA) have continued to operate to maintain the vitally important link between the UK and Cayman Islands.
Cayman Islands Government (CIG) officials continue to work closely with British Airways to secure a consistent flight schedule to and from the UK. When flights are confirmed details are published on the Government website and on the Travel Cayman portal.
Aside from this process, it has been noted that some airline carriers, including British Airways, advertise and take bookings for non-approved flights (ghost flights) to and from the Cayman Islands. Given that the Cayman Islands Government has no control over the marketing activities of commercial airlines, and in an effort to avoid confusion with the public, the CIG launched a travel information website www.explore.gov/travel which is regularly updated with the latest travel information, including confirmed British Airways flight dates.
Additionally, the CIG has also advised travellers who make reservations for unconfirmed flights that they are doing so at their own risk and they continue to encourage all potential travellers to check the CIG website or Travel Cayman prior to making their bookings.
The next confirmed BA repatriation flight from the UK is scheduled for 2 June (returning 3 June to UK) and these dates are published on the CIG website. Notwithstanding, the Ministry of Tourism wishes to reassure travellers that while every effort is being made to assist residents in returning home, they should also remain aware that until normal commercial service is resumed, airline seat capacity is limited, and consequently delays in securing a flight home can occur.
Minister Bryan reaffirmed the Ministry of Tourism’s sympathy with the ongoing situation and commented “We understand the frustrations that travellers must face when it comes to ghost flights, particularly parents of students returning from the UK. Let me reassure you that we are in continual discussions with British Airways on repatriation flights and aim to give as much notice as possible prior to flight departures. I urge the public to check official Government channels before making reservations, as the Ministry has no control over British Airways advertised flights.”
In a further effort to provide timely information to the public, the Ministry has been in dialogue with BA to confirm a fortnightly schedule covering the period of June to September. However, travellers are asked to note that this schedule is still in the process of being finalised and in the event that any changes occur, the new information will be passed on to the public as soon as it is received from BA.
The dates of the proposed BA flights are as follows.
Inbound from the UK (London Heathrow to Grand Cayman)
June: 16 and 30
July: 14 and 28
August: 11 and 25
September: 8 and 22
Outbound from Grand Cayman (Grand Cayman to London Heathrow)
July: 1, 15 and 29
August: 12 and 26
September: 9 and 23
The proposed schedule is expected to be confirmed shortly and the Ministry will issue a further release when that has been achieved. In the meantime the public is advised to follow Government Information channels for approved flight dates prior to confirming their bookings.
Details of the British Airways repatriation schedule can be found at www.exploregov.ky/faqs/covid-19-inbound-travel