Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) has confirmed that flight KX792 destined to New York (JFK) from Grand Cayman on Sunday September 8, 2019, was diverted to Orlando International Airport (MCO) following a smoke indication in one of its cargo holds.
The Flight, under the command of Captain Frederick Whorms and assisted by First Officer Adrian West, departed Grand Cayman for New York (JFK) on schedule at 3:30pm (EST); approximately an hour and a half into the flight, an emergency was declared following a warning light indicating the presence of smoke in one of its cargo holds; the aircraft landed safely at MCO at 6:17pm (EDT).
With the uncertainty of what was causing the indication, the 103 passengers on board and 5 crew evacuated the aircraft through the emergency over-wing exits and the deployed door chutes/slides.
Emergency personnel, including paramedics, were on site to assist and treat passengers and crew if needed. All passengers and crew were cleared to the terminal without the need for further medical attention and were provided with accommodations and a replacement flight has been arranged for Monday September 9, 2019.
Whilst an investigation is in progress, there is no evidence at this time of any actual smoke being present in the cargo hold.
“We are extremely mindful that this emergency landing and evacuation was a very distressing event,” commented Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms. “On behalf of Cayman Airways, I offer a most sincere apology to our passengers for having to experience this emergency landing and evacuation, which was necessary in the interest of the safety of our passengers and crew. We have removed the affected aircraft from service indefinitely in order to accomplish the required repairs.”
Due to the aircraft being removed from service some necessary changes were made to the airline’s flight schedule for Monday September 9, 2019, as follows:
• KX793, scheduled to depart JFK at 8:45am will now depart at 7:30pm.
• KX2606, scheduled to depart GCM at 6:05pm will now depart at 10:10pm
• KX2607, scheduled to depart KIN at 8:10pm will now depart at 12:10am
• KX200/201 will now be operated on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 instead.
All other flights are expected to operate on schedule. Passengers on affected flights will receive updates on their new flight times via email and text messages.
Affected passengers may call Cayman Airways Reservations on 345-949-2311 or 1-800-422-9626 (toll-free in the United States) with any questions or concerns.