As Cayman Airways approaches its 40th anniversary the launch of celebrations on reaching this milestone have already been kick-started.
While the anniversary itself falls on 7 August, celebrations to mark the 40th year go from this month to September, and will include special competitions, prizes and deals for customers.
At a special media launch of anniversary activities recently at Cayman Airways headquarters on Owen Roberts Drive, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of CAL, Angelyn Hernandez outlined plans.
‘There’s always heightened expectation from our customers on what special fares will be offered during our anniversary celebrations, usually during the month of August,’ she said.
But this year, because celebrations go from May to September, prizes and gifts will be on offer over the next several months with various competitions for customers to participate in, she said.
‘As we get closer to August 7 we will announce even more special fares and deals for the month of August. I can tell you, though that our frequent fliers who fly on Aug 7 will get an opportunity to double their miles,’ said Ms Hernandez.
Some of the activities planned for the 40th anniversary celebrations include hosting essay and art competitions at schools based on the Cayman Airways theme.
Work is in progress on a commemorative book. ‘This book will recall the early days of Cayman Airways and trace the company’s development over the past 40 years,’ said Ms Hernandez.
Customer testimonials will also appear in Cayman media from next month.
Long standing employees will also be profiled, including the longest serving, Mr. Edwin Nixon, who has been with the airline from the beginning.
Government Information Services is working on a TV documentary on the history of the airline. The documentary will be shown in the city ticket office and offices in the Sister Islands and also on its long haul flights.
A highlight of the celebrations will be a family day at Boatswain’s Beach for CAL staff on 7 July.
‘I think it’s just a small token that we can do for deserving employees,’ said Ms Hernandez.
August 7, the actual anniversary date, will be celebrated with employees customers and partners.
Noting the historical significance of the anniversary, Ms Hernandez said, ‘Forty years ago our leaders at the time had the idea that these islands should have its own airline.
‘Mr. Jim Bodden, Mr. Norman Bodden and Sir Vassel Johnson and others agreed this was necessary in order to ensure that there would be reliable air transportation to and from the Cayman Islands.’
‘It was the intention that the airline should act as the bridge to economic prosperity for these islands and to bring tourism visitors to our shores. That remains the mission and responsibility of Cayman Airways, at the same time acting as an insurance policy of sorts in very difficult times.’
But Ms Hernandez noted that the airline’s growth has not been without its numerous challenges.
She mentioned several foreclosures and bankruptcies filed by airlines in general recently, while discussions of mergers and increased domestic fuel surcharges have been instigated by large carriers in light of astronomical fuel costs.
‘We face similar challenges and were it not for the full support of our government and the people of these islands, we would have even more dire concerns,’ she said.
‘So we at Cayman Airways have a lot to be proud of. We have weathered many a storm because of such support and I want to pay tribute to the many Caymanians and residents who have been loyal to Cayman Airways.’
Ms Hernandez noted that over the past four months, a team at Cayman Airways has been developing the plan for the 40th anniversary celebrations. She thanked everyone involved in the planning of the activities.
‘We’re thrilled that we can celebrate this milestone as the national carrier of the Cayman Islands.’