As Cayman Airways gets set to retire its aging fleet of planes, it says what’s on the horizon will put the country’s national flag carrier miles ahead of the competition.
Government officials and those at the helm of Cayman Airways say, by 2020, four new planes will replace the current fleet.
During a press conference Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell said, “Modernisation starts this year.”
Cayman Airways CEO and President Fabian Whorms went on to say, “Our customers can look forward to all the bells and whistles that go along with modern air crafts.”
Currently Cayman Airways operates with four Boeing 737-300 along with other smaller air crafts. The new fleet will include four Boeing 737-800 Max. The first plane is expected to be taken out of circulation next year. However, Cayman Airways will introduce a Boeing 737-800, not to be confused with the 737-800 Max, in November. The new planes will feature on board WIFI and better in flight entertainment.
Mr. Whorms believes this will help to increase the airline’s competitiveness. He said, “This is the sort of thing [that] will really put us in front of the pack when it comes to having equipment.”
With the current fleet of planes, there are 20 delays for of every 1,000 flights. The delays are brought on by a number of mechanical reasons, but the new planes are expected to reduced that figure to five out of every 1,000 flights.
“Just like with a new car, a new air craft delivers a level or reliability that is unprecedented. As it stands right now this particular model of air plane is slated to go down in history as the most reliable air plane to ever be built,” said Mr. Whorms.
The planes are also larger and will seat 40 more passengers than the current models. They will also have new interior designs similar to that of the Boeing Dream Liners, as well as offer more cabin and cargo storage.
During the press conference Mr. Whorms said, “To put that into perspective, for 40 seats more we are going to be burning 20% less fuel.”
The average cost of each plane is $100,000,000. Those at Cayman Airways say it is a cost that is affordable and the government owned company will not have to get a loan to finance the purchase.
Negotiations are ongoing and Cayman Airways expects to finalise the purchase agreement soon.