Cayman Airways to fly direct to LAX
By Lindsey Turnbull
Speaking exclusively with Caymanian Times publisher Ralph Lewis, Tourism and Transport Minister Kenneth Bryan announced on Tuesday that Cabinet has not given its approval yet for Cayman Airways to begin non-stop flights to LAX in California beginning later this year. However, Caucus has given approval and it will go to cabinet on Tuesday.
“Caucus has given full approval for the monies associated with it for us to start flight to LAX in California in the fourth quarter of this year,” Minister Bryan advised. “The final date for take-off has not been set yet, because we are waiting for approvals from the LAX airport, which I suspect we will get in short.”
Even so, he advised that commitment for support from a financial perspective was approved yesterday in Caucus and now it was just for him to take it to Cabinet next week Tuesday for formalities.
“I think it’s a very lucrative opportunity for the Cayman Islands and we will be the only Caribbean island that flies to the west coast of America, opening up Asia and Oceania areas,” Minister Bryan confirmed. “We have a large Filipino community here in Cayman who travel here every year. They now have a new route rather than travelling on BA and travelling via the west coast, which will be a quicker flight.”
The flight from the Cayman Islands to California would actually be shorter by a few minutes than the flight from California to Hawaii, Minister Bryan said, so Americans who wanted to go to Hawaii could take a flight to the Cayman Islands instead, giving Cayman a competitive advantage over that traditional holiday hot spot for Americans.
Minister Bryan also said that the route would benefit Cayman’s burgeoning film industry, linking Cayman directly with the heart of movie making in America.
“For us to have our national flag carrier, Cayman Airways, fly directly there will help us build that industry,” he said.
He also thought it would benefit those travelling to Cayman from the US west coast with regard to Cayman’s real estate and financial services, as previously they would have had to use other airlines and change flights in Miami, etc. In addition, Cayman Airways could benefit from this lucrative share of the market.
Minister Bryan said there were even more possibilities arising from this new route.
“We’re having the CTO conference in September. The IATA meeting is a component of that, talking about the flights within our region and connectivity and I’d be happy to announce our ability to connect the west coast to the rest of the Caribbean because we could potentially be a hub for the rest of the Caribbean to the west coast,” he said.
The Tourism Minister said he would be sitting on a panel at the conference with Jamaica’s tourism minister, who, he said, had spoken frequently about connectivity within the region.
“This is going to be a key component for discussion…I think this opportunity to fly directly to LAX will bring us to the spotlight and it will bring us many opportunities and I look forward to it,” he confirmed.
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