The launch of a new airline that aims to link Cayman to Central and South America has been delayed after the Polish company from which it had planned to lease planes went bust.
BlueSky Airlines has made four of its 12 staff “temporarily redundant,” and has pushed back a planned summer launch as it attempts to negotiate a new aircraft lease arrangement.
Mark Ellinger, chief commercial officer, said the company was still hoping to make its inaugural flight before the end of the year.
BlueSky previously announced a proposed timetable, including scheduled flights to Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico, as well as to the Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica and the Bahamas. He said the company had a deal to lease two Bombardier Q400 aircraft, with 64 economy and seven first-class seats, from Polish government-owned airline Eurolot, but the contract was terminated after the company was put into liquidation.
BlueSky is now in “advanced negotiations” with potential lessors of the same aircraft type, he added.
BlueSky Airlines Chairman Kenny Rankin said, “Once these new aircraft are secured, we will announce our planned launch date, as well as our intended date to commence reservations and ticket sales, all subject to government approvals.
“Due to the temporary delay of our launch date, we recently restructured and streamlined our organization. This resulted in the temporary elimination of some positions and consequently the redundancy of some staff.
“Once alternative Bombardier Q400 aircraft are contracted, we intend to restore the redundant positions and expand the organization in preparation for the launch of our scheduled airline operations. The airline remains fully operational, and we look forward to completing the regulatory process and to receiving our operating certificate later in 2015.”
BlueSky is working closely with the Cayman Islands Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Transport Licensing Authority to complete the regulatory process, Mr. Ellinger added.