La Ceiba airport downgrade impacts Cayman Airways flights

The downgrade of La Ceiba's Goloson International Airport from Category 7 to Category 6 means Cayman AIrways' Boeing 737-8 can no longer land there.

Passengers booked to fly to La Ceiba today, 14 Oct., on Cayman Airways are being rebooked on a number of different flights after the Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba was suddenly downgraded.

In a statement, Cayman Airways said the airport had been issued an official Notification To Airman (NOTAM), with no prior notice, effectively downgrading the airport’s operational capabilities to Category 6 with immediate and permanent effect, resulting in Cayman Airways not being able to operate its Boeing 737-8 jet aircraft into that airport.

“The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defines the requirements for Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Service in several categories,” Captain Dave Scott, Cayman Airways’ vice president of flight operations, said in the statement. “Cayman Airways’ jet operations require Category 7 or higher, which means that we cannot currently fly our B737-8 into La Ceiba.”

He added that the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport in Roatan was not an option as it had also just been downgraded to Category 6 until 7 Dec.

Instead of operating the Boeing 737-8 jet for today’s La Ceiba flight, KX882, which was scheduled to depart at 10am, Cayman Airways will be using its smaller Saab 340B+ aircraft. Passengers who were due to travel this morning will be booked on multiple flights today and possibly tomorrow, Paul Tibbetts, the airline’s executive vice president of finance and commercial affairs, said.

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“Affected passengers are being notified and rebooked accordingly, and are being advised that this change in aircraft may impact baggage and cargo,” he added.

Cayman Airways said it is currently reviewing its options for the ongoing operations of its Grand Cayman/La Ceiba route, and will provide further updates accordingly.

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