It may be the national airline of the Cayman Islands, but Cayman Airways still manages to fly under the radar for most travelers. The small carrier has plenty to recommend it, though, including a strong safety record and recently expanded nonstop service from cities around the U.S. With direct service from around the U.S., Central America, and the Caribbean, the airline puts a remarkable Caribbean vacation destination within easy reach of more travelers.
What to Know about Cayman Airways
I flew for the first time on Cayman Airways on a direct nonstop flight from Los Angeles. Before I went, I didn’t know a ton about the airline, so I did a ton of research before boarding. If you’re considering a flight to a destination served by Cayman Airways, here are five things to know about the airline to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.
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1. Cayman Airways Has a Good Safety Record
Cayman Airways has had a perfect safety record since its inception in 1968. On international routes, the airline started out flying 727s in the 1970s and 737s in the 1980s, and today Cayman Airways flies a new fleet of 737 MAX 8s. The new aircraft is the latest version of an aircraft type the airline has been focused on for the last 40 years.
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2. It’s One of North America’s Oldest Airlines
As the flag carrier for the British Overseas Territory, Cayman Airways’ focus on getting people to, from, and around the Cayman Islands has meant it doesn’t have a wider reputation. But the airline has been in operation since 1968, making it one of North America’s oldest continuously operating airlines. And it has been flying routes from the U.S. since 1972, when it began service from Houston.
3. Cayman Airways Flies a New International Fleet
Cayman Airways’ new international fleet of four Boeing 737 MAX 8s debuted in late 2018. The aircraft has 32-inch pitch in economy seats and 38-inch pitch in business class. Long-haul flights include complimentary meals in both classes, as well as the airline’s signature Seven Fathoms Rum Punch (there’s also a non-alcoholic fruit punch option, which is also pretty good).
4. It’s the Only Commercial Way to Fly to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
Locals and visitors move pretty fluidly among the Cayman Islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. Though most people fly to the biggest and most populous island of Grand Cayman (to the easy-to-navigate Owen Roberts International Airport), it’s a quick flight to the other islands, and a trip there offers a slower pace, beautiful scenery, and exceptional diving. Cayman Airways is the only carrier to connect the islands. It does so using smaller planes, both Saab 340 B+ and Twin Otter aircraft.
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5. Cayman Airways has Nonstop Service from 5 U.S. Cities, Including Los Angeles
Cayman Airways currently operates direct nonstop flights from Miami, Tampa, New York (JFK), Denver, and Los Angeles (LAX). The LA route is the newest, and for now remains the West Coast’s only nonstop service to the Caribbean. The only seasonal U.S. route is Denver, which operates between December and August; the rest fly year-round. Cayman Airways also flies to Cuba, Honduras, and Jamaica.
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6. Cayman Airways Also Flies Nonstop Routes from Elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America
The airline also has service to and from cities in Cuba, Barbados, and Jamaica in the Caribbean as well as Honduras and Panama in Central America.
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