Reopening Flights to Cayman

Owen Roberts International Airport
Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) has recently been renovated and expanded to accommodate health and sanitation protocols.

UPDATED – SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

The Cayman Islands are just 5-days away from Phase 3 of reopening which will see the first wave of vaccinated tourists touchdown at Owen Roberts International (GCM) airport in over a year.

Tourists waiting on the sidelines for October’s Phase 4, which removes the 5-day quarantine requirement, got a jolt of good news yesterday from Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan.

Speaking on a local radio talk show, Bryan confirmed US airlines including American, United, Southwest, and Delta have all applied for authorization to resume flights to and from Cayman beginning in October.

Those airlines alone serve as hubs for the following gateway cities: Boston, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, and Denver.

In the lead-up to October, Cayman Airways plans to expand routes into new gateway cities in September.

International Markets

Bryan noted that WestJet, which provided service out of Canada before the pandemic, had not yet applied for authorization. Talks are ongoing with both WestJet and Air Canada to resume flights for Canadian tourists at pre-pandemic levels.

British Airways will increase its weekly service to the Cayman Islands as well. The airliner is resuming four flights a week from London with a layover in Nassau, Bahamas.

 


 

UPDATED – AUGUST 27, 2021

The Cayman Minister of Tourism, Kenneth Bryan, announced that five (5) major international airlines had confirmed the resumption of flights to and from Cayman, most focusing on post-October 14 schedules. Delta Airlines had recently canceled flights until December 21. Tourism Minister is working with Delta (among others) next week to resume earlier service.

Currently, only Cayman Airways and British Airways are operating a regular schedule of flights to and from Grand Cayman (GCM). British Airways will stop in Nassau, Bahamas, to collect Air Canada travelers beginning in October.

American Airlines begins October 4th with flights through Miami. In early November, American brings on direct flights from Charlotte, Dallas, and Philadelphia. Earlier dates may be possible, given demand.

Jet Blue resumes service in early November direct from Boston and New York

United Airlines direct flights from Chicago, Houston, Newark, and Washington DC-Dulles (IAD) begin in early November as well.

The Minister is meeting next week with US Airlines and the Cayman Airport Authority to confirm additional schedules and get flights online for guest confirmation.

“I will provide further updates when the schedule has been finalized,” Bryan said. “The resumption of commercial flights is exciting news, and signals the restart of our tourism, and the return to normalcy within our industry.”

 


First Posted Aug. 6, 2021

Following the announcement of the Cayman Islands’ reopening plan, attention has shifted to airlift. After all, the success of our reopening plan depends on the resumption of commercial flights.

At a recent meeting of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan shed some light on when we can expect a return of flights in and out of Grand Cayman’s airport, Owen Roberts International (GCM).

Currently, only two airlines—British Airways and Cayman Airways—have authorization to land. Cayman Airways operates two inbound routes from Miami, FL, and Jamaica. British Airways maintains weekly service between London.

British Airways has announced plans to resume its pre-pandemic flight schedules beginning in September to coincide with Phase 3 of the island’s reopening plan. The airline cited growing demand for their decision.

US carriers such as JetBlue, Delta, and American Airlines are also taking a demand-based approach.

While discussions are ongoing with the Department of Tourism, reps from US airlines cited September’s 5-day quarantine requirement as a drawback to significant travel. However, they indicated a willingness to restart a limited number of flights during the 5-week period between Phase 3 and 4.

This “soft restart” of flights would allow the airlines to gauge market demand and iron out any wrinkles in service.

American Airlines has no plans to add any flights to Cayman until October 14th when no quarantine is required for vaccinated adult arrivals.

Planning Your Travel

The positive discussions with airlines are encouraging as the island moves towards reopening. We encourage vaccinated adult guests to book confidently for travel after October 14th and into 2022.

Families with unvaccinated children will want to book after November 18 when Phase 5 of reopening will welcome unvaccinated children with no quarantine.

For confirmed guests arriving this fall, do not worry. Our flexible cancellation policy has you covered.

If there are no reasonable flight options to Cayman, you may elect to either: 1) defer your travel dates without penalty and have all deposits paid applied to a new reservation, or 2) request to cancel with a full refund less a 3.50% processing fee calculated on funds received.

The same options apply to all guests if reopening is delayed, or quarantine is reinstated.

In the end, we want your Cayman vacation to be as worry-free as possible. Now that our island is reopening, we can’t think of a superior worry-free vacation than having your own private oceanfront villa, lounging around the pool, knowing that Cayman is almost 80% vaccinated and has had no local cases in well over a year.