Our readers will have noticed two
front-page stories last week that concerned financial difficulties at Cayman’s
national air carrier.
The first story recounted Cayman
Airways missing out on additional revenue in a cargo-hauling arrangement that
was apparently not authorised by senior management when it was signed in 2008.
The second detailed the airline’s
approach of allowing customers that owed tens of thousands of dollars to run up
further debts to the airline – to the point where CAL was unable to collect
some of them.
The report that revealed these two
situations also recounted about a dozen or so other areas where Cayman Airways
was either not collecting revenues, or was missing out on new opportunities to
We simply don’t have the space here
to explore each of these adequately, but Cayman Free Press may do so later in a
Taken individually, no one instance
outlined in the audit is responsible for the financial position CAL finds
itself in today.
But as a whole, the report paints a
picture of a disorganised, even confused business environment where chances to
earn extra cash went out the door while the company got ripped off by outside
The airline’s acting CEO Fabian
Whorms recently noted that while Cayman Airways has succeeded in cutting its
costs this year, its revenues have continued to slide.
Mr. Whorms also pointed out that
the airline has seen five chief executives in the last five or six years.
In short, CAL has been left to the
winds of political fancy and is suffering the death of 1,000 little cuts. It
has not been run like a business, and now of all times, it definitely needs to
The Miller Commission Report’s
suggestion to privatise the national air carrier has largely been laughed off
by government interests, at least behind the scenes when the press isn’t
But we have to say that the way CAL
has been run in recent years is no laughing matter. Cayman Airways may never
actually make money, but it shouldn’t be losing as much as it is now.