Cayman Airways

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Cayman Airways
Cayman Airways logo.svg
Commenced operations July 1968[1]
Hubs Owen Roberts International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Sir Turtle Rewards
Airport lounge Sir Turtle Lounge
Fleet size 7
Destinations 12
Parent company Cayman Islands Government
Headquarters George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Key people Fabian Whorms CEO

Cayman Airways is the flag carrier airline of the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands. With its head office in Grand Cayman,[2] it operates mainly as an international and domestic scheduled passenger carrier, with cargo services available on all routes. Its operations are based at Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman.[3] The airline also offers a limited charter service. Cayman Airways' slogan is "Those who fly us love us".

A Cayman Airways jet preparing for departure at Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM)


Douglas DC-8 in 1985

The airline was established and started operations on August 7, 1968. It was formed following the Cayman Government's purchase of 51% of Cayman Brac Airways, from LACSA, the Costa Rican flag carrier, and became wholly government owned in December 1977.[3] The airline operated regional services from Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town, Grand Cayman to Gerrard Smith International Airport on Cayman Brac.

Early on, the airline's aircraft was a single Douglas DC-3. A few months after it was formed, Cayman Airways flew its first international route to Kingston, Jamaica, using a leased BAC One-Eleven. International service to Miami began in 1972 using a single leased Douglas DC-6 prop airliner. The airline acquired its first jet aircraft, a stretched British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven series 500 in 1978, and began services to Houston. In 1979, a second BAC One-Eleven jet, a Hawker Siddeley 748 turboprop, and a Britten-Norman Trislander STOL (short take off and landing) prop aircraft were purchased.

The airline replaced their two BAC One-Eleven jets with Boeing 727-200 aircraft in 1982, strengthening the airline's regional and international capability, and also allowed for the introduction of first class service. The 727 jets were eventually replaced with Boeing 737-200 and then with Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Boeing 737-400 jetliners were operated as well. At one time or another 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 flew nonstop at one point between Miami and Grand Turk and Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands with Boeing 727-200 jetliners. 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 over the years, including nonstop flights between Cayman Brac and Miami, and currently continues to do so. In addition, the airline currently operates weekly nonstop jet service between Grand Cayman and Le Ceiba, Honduras.

The airline struggled throughout the early 1990s; however, financial assistance from the Cayman Islands Government, financial re-structuring, a new fleet and the addition of new destinations such as Chicago, Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Havana and Washington, D.C. appear to have helped the airline.[citation needed]


The company's mascot is an embellishment of the original Sir Turtle (pictured above the logo) 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. Mrs. Soto was married to Eric Bergstrom, with whom she built the Tortuga Club on the East End of Grand Cayman. 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 that modified Sir Turtle became the airline's new logo.[citation needed]


Cayman Airways largely serves major regional cities in the United States, Jamaica, Cuba, Honduras, and Panama. All jet flights originate at Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman Island and often remain on the ground at the destination city for a short time prior to returning to Grand Cayman. Because Owen Roberts International Airport does not have jet bridge service, all passengers are routed from the terminal building onto the ramp for access to the aircraft. However, upon arrival to most of the international destinations,[4] the aircraft is able to utilize a jet bridge service for deplaning and boarding. All Cayman Airways jet flights permit economy class passengers to check up to two pieces of baggage (up to 55 pounds) without charge, and all flights feature complimentary Tortuga rum punch—a signature cocktail of the Cayman Islands.[5]


Cayman Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Boeing 737-300 4 -
To purchase 3 leased aircraft from ILFC

International medium haul

DHC 6-300 Twin Otter 2 -
Domestic Short Haul
Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia 1 -
Wet-leased from InterCaribbean until replacement aircraft Saab 340 is operational

Domestic Short Haul

Saab 340 - 1
Aircraft ordered expected to be in service soon

Domestic Short Haul

Total 7 1

Historical Fleet[edit]

Head office[edit]

Cayman Airways corporate office is located in George Town and is housed in the former Sammy's Airport Inn. The previous Cayman Airways offices were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The Cayman Islands government purchased Sammy's Airport Inn for $2.85 million United States dollars. The fit-out, including the furniture, was completed for $3 million U.S. with the valuation of the property estimated at 6.76 million U.S. as of June 2007. Parking for the head office is located in the adjacent Cayman Islands Airport Authority property with there being more parking per square foot at the current Cayman Airways head office than in most buildings in George Town, Grand Cayman.[6]


  1. ^ Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. ISBN 0-9653993-8-9. 
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Cayman Airways. Retrieved on 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b Flight International 3 April 2007
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ McGowan, Cliodhna. "CAL headquarters almost complete" (Archive). Caymanian Compass. Thursday 7 June 2007. Retrieved on 5 March 2010.

Impact of policy.

External links[edit]