Cayman Airways was forced to juggle its flight schedule Monday following a Sunday flight that was diverted to Orlando for an emergency landing after smoke was detected in the cargo hold.
The plane involved in the incident has been taken out of service indefinitely for repairs, and a number of flights had to leave at different departure times to accommodate the Cayman Airways fleet.
Three Monday flights were changed to different times, and one flight – Flight KX 200/201 scheduled to fly between Grand Cayman and Tampa International Airport – will fly on Tuesday instead.
The shortage of available planes occurred as a result of technical difficulties encountered by Flight KX792 on Sunday afternoon. That flight, piloted by Captain Frederick Whorms, departed Grand Cayman for New York at 3:30pm. But approximately 90 minutes into the flight, an emergency was declared following a warning light indicating the presence of smoke in one of its cargo holds.
The flight was diverted to Orlando and landed safely at 6:17pm. The 103 passengers and five crew evacuated the aircraft through the emergency exits and deployed door chutes and slides. There is no indication that there was any actual smoke in the cargo hold, but an investigation is in progress.
“We are extremely mindful that this emergency landing and evacuation was a very distressing event,” said Cayman Airways president Fabian Whorms in an official statement. “On behalf of Cayman Airways, I offer a most sincere apology to our passengers for having to experience this emergency landing and evacuation, which was necessary in the interest of the safety of our passengers and crew. We have removed the affected aircraft from service indefinitely in order to accomplish the required repairs.”
The Cayman Airways fleet has already been reduced after the airline grounded its two newly leased Boeing 737 Max 8 planes earlier this year. Airlines around the world took the Max 8 planes out of service following two fatal crashes involving the aircraft.
Cayman Airways indicated Monday that it has provided accommodations for crew and passengers stuck in Orlando, and it arranged a replacement flight for Monday.
Affected passengers may call Cayman Airways Reservations on 345‑949‑2311 or 1‑800‑422‑9626 (toll free in the United States) with any questions or concerns.