The unveiling of the new look of Cayman Airways’ aircraft Monday afternoon featured a dramatic fly by in which those gathered caught their first glimpse of the plane as it flew toward them through the air.
Spectators and invitees had gathered from 3pm at the Cayman Airways Hangar off Owen Roberts Drive ready for the 737-300’s dramatic entrance back to the Cayman Islands, which arrived fashionably late just after 4pm.
Two fire trucks were present on the runway to give a welcome shower to the new look plane, prompting some concerned calls to the Caymanian Compass supposing there to be an emergency at the airport.
‘What an exciting day for the staff and management of Cayman Airways and indeed the people of the Cayman Islands,’ said Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford.
The aircraft had been for a ‘C’ check and major overhaul in Costa Rica, where it flew in from with its new Caymanian identity.
CAL Board Chairperson Angelyn Hernandez explained that what was needed was to anchor the aircraft with something which identifies the fleet as coming from the Cayman Islands and demonstrate that that Cayman is a proud and bold country.
‘We believe that the design of the coat of arms flying high on our tail with all the glorious colours is such a representation,’ she said.
Other more subtle changes include Sir Turtle at the beginning of the name, now in a different font. Ms Hernandez explained that Sir Turtle had depicted warmth and humour and despite some rumours the airline had only wanted to enhance the icon.
Mr. Clifford said he was very impressed by the visual before him, with Sir Turtle near the door welcoming guests and the coat of arms gives a high impact visual message of what it means to be Caymanian.
The aircraft also sports a gleaming new interior, complete with Sir Turtle head rest covers and the coat of arms depicted on the walls.
Over the next year more of the aircraft will get the new identity as they go in for major checks and overhauls.
Ms Hernandez said, ‘We believe that for the national airline being Caymanian needs to be at the very centre of everything that we do’.
Explaining how the re-branding came about, she said ‘Just a year ago the board of directors was tasked by the government to accomplish the action items identified in the [Lufthansa] audit. One of these fundamental tasks was the re-branding of the airline or what we prefer to call the refocusing of the airline. This, we believe, was absolutely necessary in the turnaround process.’
She said that employees at Cayman Airways are working hard daily to improve operations. ‘We continue to train and retrain our frontline employees and encourage them to remember that the customer always comes first’.
She thanked all the employees for their dedication and hard work and thanked the public for its support.
‘We hope that you are as proud as we are of the unveiling and the re-branding of our aircraft.’
Mr. Clifford said that the 10 November re-launch of the service to Chicago will bring the number of international routes to seven.
‘Tourism continues to be the mainstay of the Cayman Islands economy and Cayman Airways remains one of the most important direct tools of growing this very important industry,’ he said.
The re-branding process is the most recent accomplishment under the turnaround plan and is symbolic of the change process under way at the national carrier, he said.
Other accomplishments include the consolidation of staff under one roof, a new central reservations system, new and improved financial management systems and inventory controls and the completion of the first phase of the and salary reviews.
He noted that his government would always support Cayman Airways.
President and CEO of the airline Patrick Strasburger spoke about the re-branding of the national airline with what is truly Caymanian.
He publicly thanked the employees of Cayman Airways and those who were part of the campaign leading up to the unveiling of the plane on Monday.