On Saturday March 2, 2019, Cayman Airways officially launched its longest commercial nonstop flight in the airline's 50-year history - from Grand Cayman to Denver, Colorado. The new route is made possible by the addition of new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to the Cayman Airways fleet.
Cayman Airways is the first Caribbean-based airline to serve the Mile High City, and the new route's inaugural flights outbound and inbound were celebrated with ribbon cutting ceremonies at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) as well as at Denver International Airport (DEN).
"This is another historic milestone in the life of our National Airline," said David White, Counsillor for Sports and Tourism, who spoke at the ORIA ribbon cutting ceremony on behalf of the Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. "As well as being the longest commercial flight ever offered by Cayman Airways, this new route on our brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft will allow the Cayman Islands to reach further into the West Coast of the United States, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for our tourism industry."
Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms, echoed those sentiments, stating: "As the National Airline of the Cayman Islands, this is a momentous occasion, and we are very excited about welcoming new and returning visitors to the Cayman Islands from the Mile High City. This new Denver nonstop service will reduce the travel time to Grand Cayman from typically between nine and eleven hours using multiple flights, to less than five hours aboard a direct flight on our new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, combined with our renowned Caymankind inflight experience, which includes our new Sir Turtle Entertainment and complimentary Seven Fathoms Rum Punch."
Denver is a natural addition to the Grand Cayman network, as Colorado boasts the sixth-largest population of scuba divers in the U.S. and ranks as the fastest-growing state for scuba divers since 2010. Grand Cayman is a popular location for scuba diving and is widely considered a world-class diving destination.
"Home to world-class accommodations, luxury experiences on-land and below sea, the world’s best beaches and premier culinary offerings, the Cayman Islands is the idyllic Caribbean island escape," said Deputy Director of International Marketing and Promotions for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Oneisha Richards. "Now a direct flight less than five hours away, we look forward to hosting visitors from Denver and the wider West Coast."
Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock, said: "Denver’s global reach continues to expand, and we are very excited to welcome Cayman Airways as the first Caribbean-based airline to serve the Mile High City. Each new airline or nonstop destination is a new opportunity for our residents and visitors to explore the world."
The new service will operate seasonally twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, through mid-August, and will return in the airline’s Winter schedule starting in December 2019.
"This is a historic day for air service in Denver," said DEN CEO Kim Day. "Nonstop access to the Caribbean on Cayman Airways is a unique offering we are proud to provide to Colorado’s growing and active population."
Currently, Denver ranks as the second-largest U.S. market without nonstop service to an island in the Caribbean, with demand reaching more than 700 passengers per day. Additionally, Denver is the largest U.S. market without nonstop service to Grand Cayman with more than 250 passengers a week traveling to this tropical destination. Travel demand between Denver and Grand Cayman is very strong, recording nearly 20 percent growth over the past year.