EDITORIAL – Welcome to Denver: Cayman Airways’ gateway to the West

More than a century ago, New York newspaper editor Horace Greeley urged his American readers to “Go West!” and seize a land that was rich with opportunity.

This week, Cayman Islands tourism officials announced they have done just that, by negotiating twice-weekly direct flights from Grand Cayman to Denver, Colorado, beginning next spring. As Cayman is now the only Caribbean island with a direct route to Denver, we expect maiden flights to be booked next March with Mile High City families eager to experience life at (and below) sea level.

The move by Cayman Airways opens new vistas for our national airline, taking advantage of the capabilities of new Boeing 737-800 Max aircrafts to increase service to (and more importantly, from) the populous and prosperous United States West Coast. Establishing this foothold will facilitate travel to Cayman for Denver-area vacationers and the more than 60 million people who fly through the Denver International Airport each year.

It’s expected outgoing flights will prove popular with Cayman residents. The Denver metro area is a vibrant and growing home to nearly 3 million people and counting.

In addition to being a “gateway” for tourism and commerce, the landlocked Mile High City is an ideal getaway for outdoors-minded Cayman residents who enjoy hiking, camping and, of course, snow skiing. If you’re headed to the chic ski resorts of Aspen/Snowmass, private jet, of course, is still the preferred means of travel, but the new CAL flight to Denver, with a follow-on connecting flight, will get you there as well.

Denver is especially attractive to those whose sense of adventure is attuned to exploring trendy neighborhood galleries, restaurants, clubs and boutiques, or attending world-class performances, from Broadway hits at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to concerts at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The direct flight to Denver also opens up an atlas of other destinations for Cayman travelers. The airport is a major international hub offering nonstop travel to 190 destinations, from Albany (New York), to Zurich (Switzerland), including most major U.S. airports, a half-dozen in Canada, London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as Paris, Frankfurt, Reykjavik, Tokyo, and beyond.

Cayman’s flight offerings are becoming truly impressive, with direct flights to major hubs in New York City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Toronto and now Denver.

This week’s announcement demonstrates that in its 50th year, Cayman’s national airline still plays a key role in our islands’ tourism industry – particularly in terms of creating new markets. Cayman Airways CEO Fabian Whorms told the Compass that the airline will continue pursuing expanded Western routes, which are less likely than Eastern airports to be saturated with Caribbean flights.

If all goes to plan, new routes will help ensure that Cayman’s hotels, condos and resorts will have a steady supply of visitors, hopefully enticing other commercial airlines to establish even more direct routes to Cayman, creating a virtuous cycle.