Cayman Airways’ new direct flight to Boston saw local VIPs hop aboard Friday evening for the inaugural trip to the new destination on the newly acquired 737-300 jet airplane.
‘This new flight to Boston is very important for our tourism product,’ said Leader of Government Business and Minister of Tourism McKeeva Bush at the Owen Roberts International Airport before departure.
‘We have a big percentage of visitors from the Northeast of the United States and this new route offers a direct flight for passengers to and from Grand Cayman. People want to be able to get on a plane and get to their destinations without stops,’ said Mr. Bush.
He said Cayman Airways is so important for the Cayman Islands because it improves the tourism product.
The inaugural flight to Cayman Airways’ new destination took place Friday evening 17 December with many VIPS invited aboard for a special weekend trip to the US city. Most had packed or wore warm clothing for the chilly temperatures that would greet them overseas.
The new route had originally been scheduled to start in October but was delayed following the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
Mr. Bush said every time he can take people on such trips with him, he does. Included were staff of Immigration, Customs, the Board of Directors of Cayman Airways, those working in the tourism industry and residents from different districts of Grand Cayman.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the inaugural flight is that Cayman Airways newly acquired Boeing 737 jet was making the journey, adorned with cartoon characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick.
‘It adds something special to the trip, the fact that we’re travelling on the new plane,’ said Chairman of CAL Board of Directors Roy McTaggart at the airport on Friday.
He said the biggest reason for choosing Boston as a destination was that it had been identified by the Department of Tourism as a visible source of winter tourists for the Cayman Islands that had no direct service.
‘We saw this as a source to capture this market and develop it,’ he said.
Monday morning before the Cayman VIP visitors’ departure from Boston there was to be a press reception with US media, and even an appearance by SpongeBob himself.
Cayman Airways is also considering opening up routes into destinations in Central America, said Mr. McTaggart.
‘We’re looking at the possibility of Costa Rica and Panama at the moment. These destinations are being looked at to see if there’s a market to service them,’ said Mr. McTaggart.
The weekly service between Grand Cayman and Boston will take you to one of New England’s most historical, cultural and flavourful destinations, often referred to as the ‘Athens of America’, says a press release from CAL.
The outbound flight departs Grand Cayman Fridays at 4.30pm, arriving in Boston at 8.30pm while the inbound flight departs Boston at 8.45am and arrives in Grand Cayman at 1.05pm.
‘This schedule is perfect for passengers travelling southbound with an early morning departure and mid-day arrival in Grand Cayman, then a late afternoon return to Boston,’ according to CAL.
Said the release, ‘Visitors to Boston can spend their days (and nights), exploring its thriving cultural scene having more than enough to wow an arts aficionado, taking cruises in and around Boston Harbor Islands National Park or dining at restaurants with menus sure to make any feel like a culinary connoisseur.
‘Inside Boston’s city limits, the architecture depicts the basic layers in its history. Paul Revere’s House is of the Colonial period, while Sears House is of the Federal period. Old Boston City Hall and New Boston City Hall are the essence of the Victorian and Contemporary periods. Boston is at the heart of American history and culture.’