Canadian airline touches down in Cayman

| 10/11/2010

(CNS): The first ever direct WestJet Airlines Jet flight from Toronto, touched down at Owen Roberts last week to a personal welcome from the country’s premier and other officials. Government has had a partnership with the airline in its sights for several years as a significant number of visitors to the Cayman Islands come from Canada. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome WestJet Airlines to the Cayman Islands and look forward to a fruitful and strategic relationship for a long time to come,” McKeeva Bush said at a reception held at the airport for WestJet executives, local dignitaries and the media.

“This flight marks an important beginning for our tourism plans for the Canadian market. The Department of Tourism’s strategic plan calls for greater outreach in Canada, which essentially means we needed an additional airline partner to help us grow our market share, particularly from Western Canada,” Bush added. “I am proud to say that in WestJet, we have found a partner that is reliable, safe, cost-effective and guest-oriented to enhance our marketing efforts.”

After a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony the Cayman Islands government and WestJet exchanged gifts with Cayman presenting the airline with a model replica of a jet liner carved by a local artisan from Caymanite.

“To say we are excited about having WestJet Airlines flying to Grand Cayman is an understatement,” said Paul Minich, country manager for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism in Canada. “WestJet has a solid reputation built on quality customer service and attractive fares. Not surprisingly, Canadians are already seeing fares to Grand Cayman becoming much more competitive heading into this winter season so we are anticipating a very healthy uptick in our visitor arrivals.”

Minich also noted that WestJet enables the destination to better market itself to Western Canadians, many of whom are brand loyal to the airline.

“A full quarter of our Canadian visitors come from Western Canada and this new relationship represents a real opportunity for us to grow that number even further,” said Minich.

WestJet’s regularly scheduled service to Grand Cayman from Toronto will see the carrier flying three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The service compliments already existing direct and connecting flights via major gateways in the U.S.

WestJet offers scheduled service throughout its 71-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada’s best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 90 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 45 aircraft through 2017, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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  1. Anon says:

    How much is Government subsidising Westjet?

  2. Anonymous says:

    WestJet makes 4 times the amount that you think they do.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Even though I don’t support most of this government’s initiatives, I do feel that outsourcing air service (through revenue guarantees, subsidies, whatever verbiage is applicable) is a more practical use of our tax dollars than subsidizing Cayman Airways.   If I’m not mistaken, there was a study done that acknowledged that it cost the airline more than $12,000 U.S. to fly one hour.   When I just calculated the same cost metric for Westjet, it would appear they fly newer aircraft with more amenities for less than half of what Cayman Airways can.

    If this be the case, why doesn’t the government consider outsourcing ALL of the flying on the airline?    Get Delta or American or Jet Blue to replace service to JFK (they all have hubs there with feed traffic from major cities in the northeast.   Get United to fly from their hub at Washington Dulles instead of Cayman Airways.  

    The Jamaican government did the same thing (outsourcing) when it was determined Air Jamaica’s cost structure was totally out of line.

    A Sales Manager at Westjet makes around $35,000 U.S. – the same job at Cayman Airways XXX pays almost $100,000 U.S..   XXXXX

    The Cayman Airways staff is overpaid and woefully lacking in training and business practices that other airlines seem to have instilled in their workers.

    OUTSOURCING is one ideal way of reducing costs (and our taxes and now our accumulated government debt).