Cayman Airways marked an historic juncture in its 39-year history Friday with the opening of its new headquarters on Owen Roberts Drive.
The opening marks the first time all CAL employees are based under the same roof.
It is also the first time the company has owned its own headquarters.
Present at the event – timed to coincide with the company’s 39th birthday – were Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts, Minister responsible for Tourism Charles Clifford and Cabinet members Arden McLean and Alden McLaughlin.
Mr. Clifford was joined by CAL Chairwoman Angelyn Hernandez and CEO and President Patrick Strasburger to cut a ribbon to declare the office officially open.
The ceremony also featured the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the memory of long-time CAL employee Mrs. Minnie Giddings, who the building has been named after.
Mr. Clifford said the new 20,000-square-feet headquarters will increase efficiency and morale among CAL employees, who, he acknowledged, have been working under less than acceptable conditions at several different George Town locations over the past three years.
Mr. Clifford also had veiled criticism for opposition leader McKeeva Bush who, he said, had questioned the validity of the purchase and creation of the headquarters.
‘Clearly the employees of our national airline are worthy of this new headquarters and a working environment, which can only produce excellence,’ he said.
‘I can assure you that this government makes no apologies to anyone for the policy decision to establish this headquarters for Cayman Airways and its employees.’
Mr. Clifford said the government’s position on Cayman Airways is that it is no longer just a luxury for the country, but an essential service. Lessons learned following the 11 September, 2001, attacks in the US and Hurricane Ivan in 2004 confirmed this, he said.
‘Cayman Airways … is here to stay and this new headquarters is not only necessary but is also symbolic of this government’s position on our national flag carrier.’
To celebrate the office opening and 39th birthday celebrations, CAL will launch a cut-price ticket sale in August, Ms Hernandez said.
Cut-price fares will be advertised from 1 August, she said, with fares going on sale 4 August.