CAL throws 40th bash

A party atmosphere was in the air outside Cayman Airways headquarters Thursday evening, where 40th anniversary celebrations were in full flight.

cal anniversary

Cayman Airways staff, from left to right: Mitchell Bodden, Kristin Williams, Karen Eden, Priscilla Lopez, Brenton Parsons. Photo: Cliodhna Doherty

Tents were erected in the first section of the parking lot at the Owen Roberts Drive headquarters. Underneath, in the cool of the shade, drinks and canapes were served to guests as they intermingled in the relaxing atmosphere.

On entrance, visitors’ names were entered in a draw to win one of 20 Cayman Airways roundtrip tickets on offer.

The draw took place following an official address from both Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford and Chairman of the Board of Cayman Airways Angelyn Hernandez.

The Minister noted that it was exactly 40 years ago on this day that these islands gave birth to Cayman Airways, and in so doing gave flight to the dreams and aspirations of an entire country.

‘That bold and singular move paved the way for the state of development of our islands, ensuring that they have become the high modernised and prosperous societies that we enjoy today.

‘Much of our economic success flew firmly on the reliable wings of Cayman Airways.’

Mr. Clifford said it was with a deep sense of pride that he joined the country in saluting this wonderful national flag carrier’s achievement. ‘From humble single aircraft beginnings we have developed a small fleet with more than 106 weekly international flights and 50 domestic flights to our Sister Islands. Cayman Airways now travels to six international destinations and I can tell you there’s more to come.’

Among the airline’s recent accomplishments have been the implementation of the efficiency audit by Lufthansa, the move to the new headquarters, the rebranding of the company, the PRIDE customer service training programme, the closure of non performing routes such as Boston and Fort Lauderdale, the launching of service to JFK and the offer of web based sales and online check-in to customers.

‘Cayman Airways has flown out of the uncertainties of its youth into full maturity. And if in these challenging times we must concede that the test is not yet over, we also understand that together we can work together to ensure that Cayman Airways, of which we are all so proud, continues to soar to meet and surpass each of the challenges that we face.’

Minister Clifford said it was perhaps his last public opportunity to bid farewell to CEO Patrick Strasburger, wishing he and his family all the best in the future. Mr. Strasburger, who cited family reasons for leaving, has been CEO since March 2007.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Angelyn Hernandez commended the employees of the airline. ‘What has long set us apart is a deep commitment to this airline shown by our employees, all of whom have made a significant and measurable contribution every day. We would not have achieved this milestone of 40 years without their loyalty and commitment.’

She said Cayman Airways remains committed to safety, superior customer services and improved efficiencies.

‘With 40 years behind us we can now move forward with confidence in spite of all the challenges facing the aviation industry,’ she said.

She thanked vendors and customers that have supported the airline through their long-term commitment. ‘This airline can only grow if you continue to fly with us,’ she said.