Cayman Airways is planning to have its two Being 737 Max 8 (B737-8) back in the skies by mid-February following the lifting of the flight ban by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) and other international regulators.
CAL President & CEO, Fabian Whorms said in a statement on Thursday, that “it’s yet another important milestone taking Cayman Airways one step closer to returning our two grounded aircraft to service.”
The Cayman Airways planes were part of the global fleet of the Boeing-manufactured aircraft grounded in 2019 following two fatal crashes within a year of each other.
The CAACI cleared the planes to return to Cayman's airspace just yesterday.
In his statement announcing the reinstatement of the B737-8 back into the flight schedule, Mr Whorms said, “For several months now, Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) has been implementing a comprehensive series of actions designed to comply with all the new regulatory requirements to safely return the aircraft to service.
“It is important to note that, upon Cayman Airways being the first airline operator to announce the voluntarily grounding of its Boeing 737-8 fleet on March 10, 2019, an internal decision was also made by Cayman Airways that it would not return the grounded aircraft to service until all of the world’s major regulators had conducted full and independent re-certifications, and there was alignment and consensus amongst these regulators,” the Cayman Airways President and CEO explained.
With the manufacturers subjecting the plane to a comprehensive review and extensive technical modifications, Cayman Airways reports that it also took “every possible step necessary to independently assure itself of the aircraft’s ability to operate safely, through continuous analysis of the prescribed design and operational changes while they were in development.”
The airline said it has already completed all the aircraft modifications and improvements necessary to assure its safe operation, and that they are now implementing several final measures, many of which are above and beyond the prescribed requirements.
It further states that it worked very closely with the aircraft manufacturer and the civil aviation authority resulting in Cayman Airways and the CAACI being ultimately satisfied with the prescribed changes to the aircraft’s design, the training requirements for pilots and maintenance personnel, and the new operational procedures.
According to Mr Whorms, “There also exists a solid assurance that the aircraft is ready to safely return to the skies from the fact that all of the world’s major aviation regulators and certifying authorities have given the aircraft a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented in aviation history.”
He further pointed it that the B737-8 aircraft has already been returned to service by many airlines around the world, completing thousands of flights, with hundreds of thousands of passengers.
He called the decision to unground the Boeing 737-8 by the CAACI “timely” while confirming that, Cayman Airways plans to return the aircraft to service in the second half of February.
He also said that over the next week or two, more details about the “Return To Service (RTS)” plans will be disclosed including various activities on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.