50 years ago: Airline gives Cayman a pass, citing lack of accommodations

In the Aug. 30, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the following article titled “No Pan Am flight: Lack of hotel accommodation cited” appeared:

“At his press interview on Saturday morning last, His Honour the Administrator put paid to the rumour circulating that Pan Am were intending to introduce scheduled flights into Cayman later this year.

“In a letter dated Aug. 15 from a vice president of the airline, it is stated quite clearly that the company has reviewed the traffic statistics and hotel accommodation information furnished by His Honour in a letter, dated May 12. It continued, “Unfortunately it appears that the number of present hotel accommodations and hotel facilities are insufficient to support another carrier such as Pan American.

“In conclusion, the letter states that the company will be willing to review this matter when there has been an increase in hotel accommodation.

“This is all very disappointing as our Government. has asked Pan Am for just one flight per week in each direction as an experiment, and it appears that even this the company is not able to consider.

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“This seems to be the old problem of which comes first, the hen or the egg, for only last week a man came to our office to urge us to continue our campaign to secure more scheduled flights as he wishes to build a hotel here and is not going to lay one brick until he is certain that the people who would fill the beds have less difficulty in getting in and out than he has at present. He had been on the wait list for days trying to get here.

“Perhaps if the prospective hotelier did in fact put down his first brick so that the government could say to an airline: ‘Here is proof that we will be able to supply … more beds by …,’ we might break the vicious circle in which we at present find ourselves.

“Mr. Walter Girling has promised that BWIA winter schedules will reach us shortly.”

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