GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS — Cayman Airways is just about to ramp up its flight offerings this month alongside an anticipated increase in tourist arrivals throughout the remainder of the year, according to Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan.
He noted that between September 9, when the Cayman Islands will begin easing quarantine requirements for some travelers, and October 14, when the country intends to end mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travelers, the nation’s flag carrier has a unique opportunity to service a market that is being underserved as major airlines remain hesitant to resume flights until tourism’s full restart.
“We believe there’s going to be an increase in phase three in tourism (September 9), but it’s going to be a smaller amount… The percentage on that, based on tourism indicators from past and present, is that there’s a very small percentage of people — probably less than four percent of our annual tourists,” said Bryan.
He added, “Actually, I think one of the benefits of the reluctancy of other airlines to travel until around the October time is that there’s going to be that one-month period where Cayman Airways can offer flights to other jurisdictions.
“Obviously, it comes with some limitations because you need approvals and the like…but there will be an increased level of flights from Cayman Airways through that period and then kind of flatline back out in October when the regular competition comes with the other airlines. But we hope that everybody will continue to support Cayman Airways and the great staff that are there.”
While he encouraged people to stay at home to avoid any spread of COVID-19, the minister also implored those who wish to travel even if “just for your mental health” to take advantage of the expanded flight offerings.
“In tourism, we’re in the business of marketing to clients who want to spend their money for an experience. We have the experience; we need the client,” Bryan said. “So, what our job has to be as a government is [to] be able to find those ones who don’t have COVID and make sure they get here in a safe, filtering process…
“We need to get those bodies of people, get the money in their pockets, get them here giving our people jobs and spending money in our society and in our businesses and, ultimately, that’s where we’re focusing on.”