Cayman Airways

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Cayman Airways
Cayman Airways logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1968 (as Cayman Brac Airways)[1]
Commenced operations 7 August 1968[2]
Hubs Owen Roberts International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Sir Turtle Rewards
Subsidiaries Cayman Airways Express
Fleet size 8
Destinations 12
Company slogan "Those who fly us love us"
Headquarters George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Key people
  • Fabian Whorms - President and CEO
  • Paul Tibbetts CPA - Executive VP and CFO

Cayman Airways is the flag carrier airline of the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands. With its head office in Grand Cayman,[3] it operates mainly as an international and domestic scheduled passenger carrier, with cargo services available on most routes. Its operations are based at Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman.[4]


Douglas DC-8 in 1985

The airline was established and started operations on August 7, 1968. It was formed following the Cayman Islands Government's purchase of 51% of Cayman Brac Airways which was started in 1955, from LACSA, the Costa Rican flag carrier, and became wholly government owned in December 1977.[4] LACSA had been serving Grand Cayman since the mid 1950s as an intermediate stop on its route between San José, Costa Rica and Miami with some flights also making a stop in Havana, Cuba as well between Grand Cayman and Miami.[5] In 1965, Cayman Brac Airways (which was also known as CBA Airways Ltd.) was operating regional services from Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman to Gerrard Smith International Airport on Cayman Brac as well as to Little Cayman via a flag stop and also to Montego Bay, Jamaica.[6] A weekly service with a twin engine Beechcraft 18 aircraft was being operated on a routing of Grand Cayman – Little Cayman (flag stop only) – Cayman Brac – Montego Bay with an additional weekly service being flown between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac with an intermediate stop on occasion at Little Cayman as a flag stop. Connecting services for Grand Cayman were available to LACSA flights for services to Miami and also for Pan Am flights at Montego Bay for connecting service to Miami and New York City.

Early on, Cayman Airways first aircraft was a single Douglas DC-3. A few months after it was formed, the airline flew its first international route to Kingston, Jamaica, operating five times a week using a BAC One-Eleven wet leased from LACSA.[7] International services to Miami were operated eight times a week using a single leased Douglas DC-6 propliner.[8] By the winter of 1973, Cayman Airways was operating stretched BAC One-Eleven series 500 aircraft on both of its jet routes and was operating seventeen flights a week between Grand Cayman and Miami as well as five flights a week between Grand Cayman and Kingston.[9] The airline was also offering direct connecting jet service between Miami and Kingston via Grand Cayman at this time. In 1976, the airline had increased competition on the Grand Cayman-Miami route as Southern Airways and LACSA both operated the route.[10]

By the late 1970s, Cayman Airways had commenced its second nonstop route to the United States with a service between Grand Cayman and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.[11]

In 1979, an additional BAC One-Eleven jet, as well as a Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprop and a Britten-Norman Trislander prop aircraft were purchased and added to the fleet.

In 1982, the airline replaced its two BAC One-Eleven jets with Boeing 727-200 aircraft strengthening the airline's regional and international capability, and also allowed for the introduction of first class service. Cayman Airways also operated a single Douglas DC-8-52 and a leased Boeing 727-100 during the 1980s.[12] These aircraft were eventually replaced with Boeing 737-200 which were then with Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Boeing 737-400 jetliners were previously operated as well. During the 1980s, Cayman Airways offered scheduled or charter service to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia and St. Louis as well as Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica. The airline also served Panama City, Panama. The airline also flew nonstop between Miami, Grand Turk Island and Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands.[13] These were the only routes flown by the carrier that did not directly serve the Cayman Islands. Cayman Airlines has also operated jet service into Cayman Brac with Boeing 727-200, Boeing 737-200 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft, including nonstop flights between Cayman Brac and Miami.[14]

Throughout the early 1990s, the airline struggled. Financial assistance from the Cayman Islands Government, financial re-structuring, newer, more modern aircraft and the addition of new destinations such as Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth and Havana, helped the airline.

In 2016, it was announced that four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft would be introduced between late 2018 and 2020 thus allowing for the eventual retirement of the Boeing 737-300 aircraft currently operated by the airline.[15] The airline has also added one Boeing 737-800 as an interim measure. Cayman Airways Express also introduced Saab 340B regional turboprop aircraft between 2015 and 2016 in tandem with the eventual planned phased retirement of the DHC-6 Twin Otter series 300 aircraft as a part of the overall Cayman Airways fleet modernization plan.

On Wednesday 8 November 2017, the retirement process of the Boeing 737-300 began with the first aircraft being phased out.


Cayman Airways serves 12 destinations in the United States, Jamaica and Cuba as well as destinations in Honduras.


Current fleet[edit]

The Cayman Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2017):[16]

Cayman Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-300 3 8 114 122 To be phased out between 2018 and 2020.
All to be replaced with new Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Boeing 737-800 1 12 150 162
Boeing 737 MAX 8 4 TBA To replace the 737-300.
Deliveries from 2018 to 2020.
de Havilland Canada DHC 6–300 Twin Otter 2 15 15 Operated by Cayman Airways Express
Saab 340B+ 2 34 34 Operated by Cayman Airways Express
Total 8 4

The airline also utilizes Convair 580 turboprops contracted from a US operator, for all-cargo freighter flights.

Historical fleet[edit]


The company's mascot is an embellishment of the original Sir Turtle designed by Suzy Soto. As first designed, Sir Turtle did not have the red flying scarf. That original design was used on baggage stickers by Cayman Islands Customs and also became the logo of the Department of Tourism which was then headed by Eric Bergstrom. The red flying scarf was later added to Sir Turtle in 1978 by Capt. Wilbur Thompson, the Chief Pilot of Cayman Airways at the time, and the modified Sir Turtle became the airline's new logo.

Head office[edit]

Cayman Airways corporate office is located in George Town and is located at 91 Owen Roberts Drive almost opposite the Cayman Airways aircraft maintenance facility located at 54 Owen Roberts Drive. Owen Roberts Drive is the main road leading to the Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman.


  1. ^ Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. ISBN 0-9653993-8-9. 
  2. ^ "Fact sheet - History - Overview of Cayman Airways". 
  3. ^ "<
  4. ^ a b Flight International 3 April 2007
  5. ^, 1 Oct. 1955 LACSA system timetable
  6. ^, 1 May 1965 CBA Airways Ltd.
  7. ^, photos of Cayman Airways BAC One-Eleven aircraft leased from LACSA
  8. ^, 1 July 1972 Cayman Airways system timetable
  9. ^, 1 December 1973 through 27 April 1974 Cayman Airways system timetable
  10. ^ 1 February 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Grand Cayman schedules
  11. ^, 15 December 1979 Cayman Airways system timetable
  12. ^, photos of Grand Cayman DC-8-52 & B727-100 aircraft
  13. ^, 15 Feb. 1985 & 15 Dec. 1989 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Miami-Grand Turk/Providenciales schedules
  14. ^, 15 February 1985 & 15 December 1989 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Miami-Cayman Brac schedules
  15. ^, "Cayman Airways announces fleet modernization plan"
  16. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 9. 

External links[edit]