Southwest flights to Grand Cayman to begin in June

| 06/01/2017 | 13 Comments

(CNS Business): Southwest Airlines has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to serve Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport daily from Fort Lauderdale beginning 4 June 2017, provided the service receives requisite governmental approvals. On the same date, the airline expects to begin new daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Belize and Cancun, alongside existing service to three cities in Cuba — Havana and Santa Clara, which it launched in December, and Varadero, which began in November 2016 — as well as Nassau in the Bahamas.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the Grand Cayman flights by Southwest were the result of a two-year process of engagement with the Ministry and Department of Tourism and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, and that it was “an incredible achievement for the Cayman Islands Tourism sector”.

“Our top source market for stay-over visitors is the United States and now our guests will have an option out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, via Southwest Airlines,” the minister said. “The US market continues to demonstrate that incremental business development is possible by engaging in strategic alliances and business relationships.”

Kirkconnell added, “Welcoming this award-winning airline into our destination will help to bring even more visitors to experience Caymankind and compelling product offerings that differentiate us from our competitors and will support the continued growth of our sector. The opportunity for the Cayman Islands is the strength in Southwest’s brand loyalty program and the new clients that will now consider our destination.”

“The strategic objectives of the Department of Tourism to increase visitation to the Cayman Islands which guides all of our destination marketing plans and we are very pleased to see this outcome,” said Tourism Director Rosa Harris. “This new partnership is the culmination of many meetings with the airline representatives and government agencies to make it possible.  We are very excited to have gained this successful partnership with Southwest Airlines that will further strengthen the ease of travel to our destination and encourage additional growth in visitation.”

Cayman tourism – fantasy destination or facade?

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Category: Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (13)

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  1. Be careful says:

    Gee. I wonder how this will happen now that some idiot shot up the airport in Fort Lauderdale.

    I know it happened on the domestic side and not on the international side but it does add some food for thought.

    Lets see what happens now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wish they’d come to Boston!! Boston- GCM would be nice!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Southwest is a low cost carrier with no interline ticketing or baggage agreements with regular commercial airlines so unless you are going to the airports that Southwest flies which typically aren’t the regular larger airports you are stuck with buying two tickets and hoping that Southwest flies at a time when you can connect with your other flight in Ft. Lauderdale. This is one of the greatest passenger complaints and reasons for the failure of Spirit Airlines on this same route some years ago. All the same it will give Cayman another access point to South Florida which is always welcome.

    • Anonymous says:

      Southwest flies from a lot of places. I look forward to avoiding MIA with my 2 free checked bags.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is good news but will only be meaningful if our very own Cayman Airways allows Southwest to offer their low cost fares without impeding their offerings. As a Caymanian I try my best to support KX but sometimes and somethings make me wish I had a true alternative to get to South Florida. And AA is NOT an alternative for me. This will provide me with that opportunity.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good news, but I hope it works this time. I remember a few years ago Spirit Airlines tried the same thing. They had good feed service and started daily service, quickly reducing to two or three days per week. They pulled out completely in about a year.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bear in mind this plan is still only in the application stage and ‘subject to’ final approval. Also remember that last week Alaska Airlines launched a daily service from LAX to Havana while we still don’t have a direct link to the West Coast.

  7. Anonymous says:

    yawn….nothing to report here….. cal will make sure they can’t undercut the miami route and we will all still end up paying $400-500 for a 1 hour flight….

    • Anonymous says:

      You born that stupid or you had training for it? How can CAL have anything to do with what South West charge you to fly out of FLL when WE don’t fly out of there??? That’s the same as United flying out of Houston to Cayman. We have nothing to do with what they charge!!! Yes, I am a proud CAL employee!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Moses Trump – in your infinite wisdom to promote tourism for our islands you have now provided me with a cheaper alternative (than Cayman Airways) to the U.S. with connections to other destinations.

        You are the man Moses Trump – thank you, thank you, thank you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Such great news!!! Wish they would extend a little further and occasionally fly into the Brac! Grateful all the same…..?

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