Monday,  October 3, 2022  7:48 am

Cayman Islands air capacity exceeding 2019 levels by 1%

Cayman Islands air capacity exceeding 2019 levels by 1%
Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

The Cayman Islands saw an increase of 1,253 seats in the fourth quarter of this year, representing a one per cent increase in capacity over Q4 2019, indicating a positive sign of recovery moving towards 2023.

The data was shared in a report by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Research Unit that tracks flights to the Cayman Islands through Q1 2023 and compares capacity to 2019. 

“The airlift capacity report is a welcome indication of recovery as we look ahead to the 2022 – 2023 season,” said Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport. “The PACT Government’s easing of the travel regulations has unlocked pent up demand.  However, we cannot become complacent." 

"Our focus is to drive growth from the markets where it will have the most positive impact. While we celebrate a net increase in available seats for Q4 2022, we must also continue to strive for opportunities to increase the number of flights, operating airlines and gateway cities.”
According to the report, the net growth in seats is driven in part by:

  • Increased American Airlines connections through Charlotte and Miami,
  • Southwest’s strong feeder markets in Texas,
  • United’s growth in Washington D.C. and Newark
  • A new non-stop route from Baltimore-Washington.

However, many secondary markets with less frequent service, such as Philadelphia and Boston are pacing behind 2019 capacities, while historical stalwart Delta is still in a rebuilding phase with its connections through Atlanta.  

The report also shows signs of longer-term growth in Q1 2023: with Dallas and Houston showing Year over Year growth of five per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

Cayman Airways is one of the destination’s most important advantages in mitigating any loss in capacity from U.S. carriers and can serve as a silver bullet for market development. 

The national flag carrier’s new non-stop route to Los Angeles accounts for 1,280 seats in Q4 2022 and could have a disproportionate positive impact in growing arrivals from southern California, through increased awareness and focused marketing and sales activity. 

“Airlift is the oxygen of our islands’ tourism industry, and our global team has been working hard, engaging with the airlines to restore routes and seats,” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, director of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “A spirit of teamwork between the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, Cayman Border Control, the Cayman Islands Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority, coupled with cooperation with the private sector is the key to our success. As we continue to collaborate in rebuilding our stayover arrivals and welcoming visitors back to our beautiful shores, further increasing the Cayman Islands’ airlift remains a top priority.”

Click here for current COVID-related travel entry requirements for visiting the Cayman Islands. 

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