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La Ceiba airport’s sudden downgrade halts CAL’s jet flights

The Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba, Honduras, has 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,” explained Captain Dave Scott, Cayman Airways’ Vice President of Flight Operations. “Cayman Airways’ jet operations require Category 7 or higher, which means that we cannot currently fly our B737-8 into La Ceiba. Incidentally, Roatan airport is not currently an option as they have also just been downgraded to Category 6 until December 7th, 2021.”

Paul Tibbetts, Executive Vice President of Finance and Commercial Affairs, said: “As a result of the inability to operate today’s jet aircraft to La Ceiba, today’s La Ceiba flight, KX882, which was scheduled to depart Grand Cayman at 10am, will now be operated across multiple flights utilizing the airline’s Saab 340B+ aircraft between today and possibly tomorrow. Affected passengers are being notified and rebooked accordingly, and are being advised that this change in aircraft may impact baggage and cargo.”

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