The fact there is an on-line petition with more than 1,350 signatures opposing ‘the changing and/or altering in any way shape or form of the logo of our National Flag Carrier’ will not get Sir Turtle back on the tail of Cayman Airways’ aircraft.
Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford was asked about the significance of the petition at the Cabinet press briefing last week.
‘The new design is what it is and it’s going to stay like that,’ he said. ‘Sir Turtle has been promoted and moved up. He’s in first class now.’
Some critics of the redesign have stated Mr. Clifford misled the country at a People’s Progressive Movement meeting in April of this year because he supposedly said then Sir Turtle would not move. However, Mr. Clifford did in fact indicate Sir Turtle might move to another part of the aircraft.
‘It’s not to say the logo will change or the colours will change, but they may,’ he said at the time, adding, ‘Sir Turtle might move to another part of the plane.’
The petition was started by 96.5 CAYROCK radio station on-air personality Ben Maxwell and a colleague shortly after an article suggesting Cayman Airways could abandon the Sir Turtle appeared in the Caymanian Compass.
‘We believe that the scarf-wearing, one-eyed, peg-legged Sir Turtle, continuously in use since 1978, is part and parcel of the Cayman Airways experience, and any change thereof would be to the severe detriment to not only the National Flag Carrier, but to the tourism product of the Cayman Islands,’ the petition stated.
Cayman Airways’ redesigned aircraft has retained the Sir Turtle logo, but moved it toward the front of the plane, near the doors. The logo has been kept basically intact, although Sir Turtle’s head has been spun around on the starboard side of the aircraft for the sake of conformity with the rest of the logo.
In place of Sir Turtle on the tail is a design that is made up of elements of the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms.
Mr. Clifford said the new tail was designed by the US-based Aerobrand Inc. and that it was based on public-invited feedback.
‘The comment we heard the most is that the flag and coat of arms should be more prominent,’ he said. ‘In my view, I’m happy with the design and I think the majority of people are, too.’
Mr. Clifford responded to criticism concerning the cost of the re-branding exercise.
‘Yes, there was a cost involved in the design work and in repainting the aircraft, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t significant.’
Contacted on Thursday, Mr. Maxwell said the implication of the petition was to keep Sir Turtle on the tail of the aircraft.
‘I’ve seen the new tail and it’s interesting, although I’d rather have Sir Turtle on the tail,’ he said. ‘But as long as it’s on there, it’s a win for Sir Turtle. If he can’t be on the tail, at least he’s on the side.’