A majority of the 409 respondents
to last week’s caycompass.com online poll believe the government should try to
improve Cayman Airways with better management rather than selling it or closing
More than half of the respondents,
211 people or 51.6 per cent believe the answer to Cayman Airways’ financial
woes is better management.
“It’s obvious that there is very
poor leadership, vision and execution within the CAL corporation,” said one
respondent. “Government should be holding the management team accountable and
responsible for this. But therein lies another tremendous issue: Government
itself is not properly managed, has had extremely poor vision and execution
over the past few years, and is not being held accountable for its poor overall
handling of this country’s resources. And for that, we the people of this
country should be held responsible.”
“For Cayman not to have a national
airline would be a disgrace,” said someone else. “Have you forgotten that after
Hurricane Ivan Cayman Airways added extra flights and really stepped up to help
the island while airlines like British Airways were a disgrace. Cayman Air
might have problems, but it’s a symbol of Cayman that I am proud of and would
be sad to lose.”
“Dump yield management pricing on
airfares, set fixed low-cost fares, charge for everything extra – sodas,
bottled water, rum punch, etcetera – and introduce free companion fares when
loads are light,” commented another respondent. “Run daily specials when booked
60 per cent or less, like $99 round trips, but still black- out peak periods
like the Christmas holidays. Eliminate jet service to the Brac, which cost the
airline $7 million per year. Take that money to subsidize airline tickets
“If there’s no improvement with new
management, then sell it to a private company,” said someone else.
Another 87 people – 21.3 per cent –
thought Cayman Airways should be sold in its entirety, while 57 people – 13.9
per cent – thought only a majority ownership of the airline should be sold.
“It should be sold because we are
in debt and that could bring in some money,” said one person.
“As somebody who takes a real
interest in the airline industry, I cannot see Cayman Airways ever being
profitable,” said another respondent. “A major mistake made by the airline was
the decision to land at JFK, New York, instead of La Guardia. Landing at La
Guardia is much cheaper than JFK. After paying thousands of dollars to a highly
reputable airline consultancy company to tell them this, they did the opposite
and chose to fly to JFK. We need to follow Air Jamaica and sell Cayman Airways
to another airline.”
Thirty-eight people – 9.3 per cent
– thought the airline should continue as it is.
“I love Cayman Air,” said one
Only 16 people – 3.9 per cent –
thought Cayman Airways should just be closed down.
“It will never make a profit as
long as it’s owned by government, where all the people with connections get
free tickets, free upgrades, etcetera,” said one respondent.