CAL heads to US capital

| 02/10/2008

(CNS): The National Flag carrier will be introducing a direct flight to the US capital when it begins flying into the gateway of Washington’s Dulles airport. And it looks like Chicago will be "Cayman Airways’ kinda town" once again as the airline re-introduces the previously failed route this winter. According to the board chair, Angelyn Hernandez, both routes have been carefully researched and have revealed considerable demand.

Speaking at a special press briefing on Wednesday morning (1 October), flanked by the airline’s new management line-up, she said that the decisions to introduce these two routes were sound commercial decisions to enhance airlift. “We intend to keep an eye on the US market in the future but for this winter we are introducing Washington and Chicago for sound business reasons,” said Hernandez.

First introduced in December 2003, Chicago was dropped by the airline last year, but Hernandez says the route was not a complete failure. “We think it was the wrong days and times and perhaps it wasn’t marketed as well as it could have been. Managed properly we believe this will be a successful gateway,” she added.

The chair also confirmed the Tourism Minister’s recent announcement that the airline had decided not to purchase two Embraer E-170s as had been planned for this winter, but she said CAL was looking at acquiring on lease another type of aircraft related to the current "family", she said, adding that CAL had not abandoned the project but postponed it.

“After looking carefully at the immediate needs and requirements for the winter season, the decision has been made to temporarily postpone the acquisition of a different type of aircraft at this time. The team is actively pursuing a plan which would seamlessly fit the airline’s present operational structure and which would meet our plans for this winter season,” she said. “The airline is mindful of its obligations to act as the economic lever for all three islands, and is doing all that it can within its means to meet such obligations and expectations,” she said.

Hernandez also said that the airline was currently enjoying record performances despite all the turmoil in the market. CAL VP of Finance Paul Tibbetts said passenger revenue for the month of August came in at US$5.8 million, which he said was a new record. He also said the airline has significantly exceeded average load factors of previous years for eight of the past 12 months.

With a reduction in overall running and maintenance costs, coupled with an increase in passengers, Tibbetts said they were coping with the massive increase infuel costs.

 “In the past two to three years, the investment in the Lufthansa audit by the Ministry and the subsequent assistance of Lufthansa in assisting the airline to implement procedures and tools have already borne fruit and will continue to do so in the long term,” Hernandez added. “We started out by calling this the ‘turnaround plan’ and we have managed to turn the airline in a positive direction. The numbers are evidence of this.”

She said while there were challenges on the horizon, with efficient tools and procedures the airline stood ready to serve the Cayman Islands. She said it was important to note that the success was a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the staff. “Demands have been made on them and it has not always been easy changing established ways of doing business or even adapting to matters, but they rose to the challenges. It is important that we continue to harness the loyalty and talent that we have within the company. The Board is pleased with the results of the past two three years, but recognizes that there is still much more to attend to,” she added.

Hernandez also introduced three brand-new additions to the management team: VP Commercial Paul Mooney, Robert Hartsfield, the new Commercial Director of Revenue Programs, and Olivia Scott, the new Manager of Corporate Communications.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments (5)

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  1. WendyB says:

    I don’t see when flights will begin from/to Washington/Dulles – anyone know?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes! To the powers that be at Cayman Airways! OUR national flag carrier! How about letting us CAYMAN BRACKERS have a piece of the pie so to speak! How about getting us some decent planes to fly on first and foremost! Ones that actually have bathrooms! How about sending the people to Cayman Brac FIRST rather than letting them sit in the airport and WAIT while everyone else gets to their destinations in somewhat of a reasonable time period! It’s a shorter flight to Cayman Brac than it is to Cuba, Miami, Colombia,Jamaica etc!! And yes how about letting us have some direct flights to and/or from Cayman Brac to your other destinations!!

    Another digusted Cayman Bracker!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The next route that should be opened up as a direct flight for Cayman Airways should be Los Angeles, California direct from Grand Cayman. That is where the upscale market,  the money people, the big spenders, and all the superstars and the rich and famous all come from. This would be a benefit to Cayman’s tourism and many Caymanians do travel to the cities of fame in California including Hollywood, and  as well as to nearby Las Vegas, Nevada which is even more popular to many Caymanians and local residents.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is again a Shame that Cayman Airways chooses to go everywhere in the World besides  supporting thte Growth of Cayman Brac their own! 

    Please the Powers be just open the airways of Cayman Brac to other airlinesto "Service" us properly!

    A disgusted Cayman Bracker.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Every other day we seem to be going to a new destination and pulling out of another, buying a different  type of plane or the other. What an expensive mess!