Summer takeoff set for new British Airways jets

British Airways will start flying its newer Boeing 777-200 jets into Grand Cayman from July. 

The larger planes, which will continue to be routed through the Bahamas, mean a slight increase in airlift from the U.K. into the islands. 

Work to strengthen the runway, which airport officials have always said will be required to allow the Owen Roberts International Airport to accommodate the planes, is not expected to be complete by July. 

Albert Anderson, CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, said the work is scheduled for later in the year. 

“It is not going to prevent them coming in,” he said. 

Mr. Anderson said engineering reports indicated that the runway could handle the aircraft in the short term, though some reinforcement work would ultimately be required. 

He said a request for proposals on the design work was about to be issued. 

The work, and British Airways’ decision to replace the Boeing 767-300s with the 777s, will not impact the airline’s ability to fly direct to Grand Cayman. An extended runway would still be required for a plane of that size to take off from Grand Cayman with a full load of passengers and fuel. 

Currently, BA planes add fuel and passengers at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau before continuing on to London Heathrow. 

There are no current plans to extend the runway. 

British Airways described the switch to Boeing 777 jets as a boost to its service in Cayman that could increase tourism from Europe. 

Diane Corrie, the airline’s commercial manager for the Caribbean, said, “The larger aircraft will be especially welcomed by the business communities on both islands, including executives of the banking and finance sector, insurance companies and law firms and residents of Cayman who travel frequently to London and beyond on British Airways. 

“There will be increased capacity, especially in the premium cabins, and this will also help to boost visitor arrivals from the U.K. and Europe.” 

The 777 aircraft will offer a choice of three cabins – Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller, and will continue to operate four times a week. 

Boeing 777-200 jets are due to fly into Cayman later this year on the Heathrow route. – PHOTO: BRITISH AIRWAYS

Boeing 777-200 jets are due to fly into Cayman later this year on the Heathrow route. – PHOTO: BRITISH AIRWAYS


  1. It is worth remembering that this move has been forced on BA by the imminent retirement of their aging Boeing 767 fleet. Interestingly, many of the Boeing 777-200s that will start operating this route in July are actually going to be older than the 767s they are replacing so in some ways it is not really a true upgrade.

    What I am curious about is what happened to the promised 787-800 Dreamliners that everyone had expected would replace the 767s? When I flew to London last October one of the cabin crew confirmed that this is a future 787 route but they had no idea when that changeover would be made. Maybe BA could clarify this?

    It will be interesting to see how this change works out and if it brings with it any improvements in service or any reduction in the outrageously expensive GCM-LHR fares. In theory the fact that a 777 can carry another 80-odd passengers and is apparently 20 percent more efficient should bring fares down. The problem is that BA has to fill those extra seats but based on the current high fares and low load factors they are already struggling to operate their 767s at a profit. In contrast the far more efficient 787-800 Dreamliner is only slightly larger so cost-wise would possibly have been a much better option.

    As I have posted before, using almost empty wide-body jets on the short connecting flights out of Nassau makes little sense anyway. It’s long overdue for BA to accept this and contract out these connections, possibly to CAL. If they are really trying to improve the service that seems to be a much better option than flying another 80 empty seats into ORIA four times a week and jacking up the fares we pay to cover their losses.

  2. "Newer" is a relative term. American operates both the 777-200 and the 777-300 on the Miami London route. The 300 series is far superior and a lot of BA business class passengers fly American on this route because the 300 is available.

  3. When I got the announcement from BA in the latter half of 2015 (Oct/Nov) I was relieved I knew it was gonna happen soon but wasn’t sure

    To David Williams when I got the full lists from BA it had included the 787 Dreamliner and its routes and yes the Dreamliners will be making their runs as the year goes on

    I do believe the idea of the 787s making its runs to Owen Roberts has been thrown around and it is believe that BA and eventually other airlines may switch their Grand Cayman aircraft with the 787 eventually providing Owen Roberts makes those runway reinforcements as expected this year and/or extend the runway later down the timeline

    Anyway as it stands
    Last BA0252/0253 767 flight will be on the 29 June 2016 I believe and
    First BA0252/0253 777 flight will be on the 1 July 2016

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