The Cayman Islands Airports Authority is working to approve 50 additional taxi operators to serve Owen Roberts International Airport. An unspecified number of those would operate from 4pm to 6am, in an effort to address late-night flight arrivals.
“The CIAA recognises there are challenges with taxi service at night, especially for severely delayed flights that arrive outside ORIA’s normal operating hours,” the Airports Authority said in a statement Monday.
“To help address this issue, we have recently increased the complement of taxis approved to operate at ORIA from 75 to 117.
“Our goal is to sign on 125 operators. This number also includes new taxi drivers who hold a special night service licence, issued by the Public Transport Board, restricting their hours of operation to 4pm-6am.”
The CIAA statement said it hopes that new licences will encourage independent operators to offer late night and early morning service, including to the airport.
The announcement comes after weeks of delays in Cayman Airways flights, with passengers often arriving after midnight and as late as 4am. Travellers have complained about the difficulty in finding taxis from the airport during early morning hours.
In a statement released Thursday, Cayman Airways attributed the delays to its reduced fleet due to the grounding of two newly acquired Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
“While necessary adjustments were made to the airline’s flight schedule to operate with a reduced fleet, it has left the airline with little redundancy in the event of an aircraft being out of service,” a press statement read.
Unspecified technical issues with the carrier’s remaining three jets has added an unpredictable element to flight schedules, resulting in extensive delays in recent weeks.