Saturday October 16th, 2021 was an exciting day for the Cayman Islands and for Cayman Airways Limited (CAL), as nonstop commercial flights between Grand Cayman and Tampa resumed for the first time since the Cayman Islands’ borders closed to international flights in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We are thrilled to be able to relaunch our nonstop commercial service between Grand Cayman and Tampa, Florida, as it’s an important route for Cayman residents and visitors alike,” said Paul Tibbetts, Executive Vice President of Finance and Commercial Affairs, adding that Cayman Airways has been serving this route for the past 35 years, since 1986.
The Cayman Islands’ Minister for Tourism and Transport, the Hon. Kenneth Bryan, said: "The addition of Tampa to Cayman Airways’ flight schedule is encouraging news and offers travellers the choice and convenience of two gateways in Florida from which to visit our Islands. This is a further positive step in governments reopening plans and serves as an indication that the Cayman Islands is poised to welcome visitors from the United States. The resumption of Cayman Airways’ Tampa service will facilitate an increase in air arrivals, which in turn will provide a welcomed boost to our tourism industry."
Echoing those sentiments, the Cayman Islands Director of Tourism, Rosa Harris, added: “The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) is delighted for our National Flag Carrier, Cayman Airways, to resume its regularly scheduled flights to Tampa, Florida. This South Florida route provides our visitors more opportunities to return to the Cayman Islands and Make their Dreams Come True. Cayman Airways plays an integral role in the development of our tourism product and is a change catalyst partner as we navigate the next phase of our border reopening plan. Our strong strategic partnership will transform the new COVID-19 landscape in the Cayman Islands tourism industry and support increased economic activity for the benefit of the country.”
Tampa Flight KX200 departed Grand Cayman with a customary Water Cannon Salute by the Cayman Islands Fire Service, to mark this special occasion.
The resumption of the National Airline’s Tampa route will see weekly nonstop flights between Owen Roberts International Airport and Tampa International Airport, on Saturdays, with the addition of Mondays in December. This schedule is confirmed through December 31st, but additional flights may be added subject to demand and the Cayman Government’s border reopening plans.