More than two thirds of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll think at least a minority share of Cayman Airways should be sold to a private entity.
Of the 637 total respondents, the largest segment – 273 people or 42.8 per cent – think the airline should be sold and privatised completely.
“Although I love CAL dearly, I fail to see the value of continued massive government subsidies when the fares are so high for such a short flight,” said one person.
“Time to jettison this deadweight,” said someone else.
“Sell it with suitable caveats and a realistic service level agreement being signed,” said another respondent.
Another 163 people – 25.6 per cent – thought a minority share of the airline should be sold to a private entity.
“And stop letting everyone and their brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and long-lost third cousin fly for free,” said one person.
“Cayman Airways is an absolute necessity, and should be maintained for the benefit of Cayman, no matter what the cost,” said someone else.
Not everyone saw a problem with Cayman Airways as 142 people – 22.3 per cent – said nothing should be done with the airline and that the operating losses were worth it.
“The Cayman Islands needs a national flag carrier airline, losses or not,” said one person. “Who is going to do evacuation flights in hurricanes? And the flight attendants are always very nice and pleasant.”
“Cayman Airways should absolutely not be sold to any private entity,” said another person. “Cayman Airways is a Caymanian asset. Please do not sell the airline. Better management is the best solution; do not destroy Cayman’s only airline.”
Thirty-seven people – 5.8 per cent – thought Cayman Airways should simply be shut down.
“We cannot afford it,” said one person. “It will never be profitable. The world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffet, has said that he would never invest in the airline industry as it has never made a profit from the time the Wright brothers went aloft at Kill Devil Hill.”
Twenty-two people – 3.5 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question.
“It should be streamlined to service essential/profitable routes – Miami, Kingston and Cayman Brac,” said one person.
“Keep it, all competition is good,” wrote another person. “Just lower prices, so I can come down there more often. Cayman Airways was the best flight I have ever taken anywhere. Best service, nicest attendants, on time!”
“An independent assessment of the airline’s real value should be done by a professional business consultancy firm to essentially instruct our not-so-keen-to-listen government on what needs to be done in order to make a profit,” said someone else. “These donkeys we have for politicians too often are happy to waste the country’s resources as they bank well over $100K each, while the rest of us are usually struggling just to be able to afford a $350 round trip ticket between Grand Cayman and Miami that amounts to $0.41 per mile travelled – hardly comparable with most any other airline rates.”
“It needs to be properly managed,” said someone else. “At the very least, CAL can break even, if politicians stop abusing it for political favours.”
“Maybe Air Jamaica is a good case study as I believe that all of the above was attempted and today it no longer exists, but I do know that something needs to be done,” said one respondent.
“Keep it government owned, but keep the politicians away from the management, said another person.
Next week’s poll question
Should the Cayman Islands decriminalise ganja possession?
No, but it shouldn’t be an imprisonable crime
Only for medicinal purposes
Yes, but only small amounts for personal use
Yes, but tax it and regulate its sale
Other (write in comments)