December 3, 2021

Cayman Airways boasts having the newest jet fleet in the Caribbean following the retirement of its B737-300 fleet

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The last remaining two jet aircraft from Cayman Airways’ Boeing 737-300 fleet have officially been retired from service to the Cayman Islands, marking another milestone in the National Airline’s current Fleet Modernization Plan – a plan that has positioned Cayman Airways as having the newest jet fleet in the Caribbean after achieving the historic accolade in 2018 of being the first Caribbean-based airline to operate brand new state-of-the-art Boeing 737-8 aircraft.

Cayman Airways had operated 737-300 aircraft for three decades, with the last remaining aircraft, VP-CKW and VP-CKZ, being retired on October 18, 2021 and October 25, 2021 respectively. A special farewell send-off was held in the Cayman Airways hangar on October 25, 2021 in honour of both aircraft’s service to the Cayman Islands. It was attended by Cayman Airways board members, executives, employees, and government officials, including: the Cayman Islands Premier, the Hon. Wayne Panton; Minister for Tourism and Transport, the Hon. Kenneth Bryan; Ministry of Tourism and Transport’s Chief Officer, Mr. Stran Bodden; Member of Parlaiment, Mr. Isaac Rankine; Member of Parlaiment Mrs. Heather Bodden; Cayman Airways Board Members, Dr. John-Paul Clarke, Mr. Kris Bergstrom, Mr. Tyrone Welds, and Ms. Stefanie Ebanks; and Cayman Airways Executives, President and CEO Mr. Fabian Whorms, VP of Finance and Commercial Affairs Mr. Paul Tibbetts, and VP Flight Operations Capt. Dave Scott.

Everyone in attendance got the unique opportunity to write farewell messages and sign their names on the nose of VP-CKZ. Both farewell flights were flown by Captain Perry Panton and First Officer Geoffery Connolly to the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California, where they will be stored pending sale. After take-off, Captain Panton circled the aircraft back around for an approved fly-over and final salute to the Cayman Islands.

VP-CKZ operated its last passenger flight for Cayman Airways on June 26, 2021 from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman, and VP-CKW’s last passenger flight was on May 17, 2021 from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman. 

Interesting facts about each aircraft include:

VP-CKW 

  • It was delivered from Boeing on January 26, 1996 and is 25 years of age
  • It is the 26, 322nd aircraft manufactured by Boeing overall
  • It is the 2,769th 737 aircraft type manufactured by Boeing
  • Its first operator was Viva Air (Spain), which operated it for three years until it was leased to Air One (Italy) which operated it from March 1999 to early 2008
  • It was delivered to Cayman Airways via a lease from ILFC on June 1, 2008 as the airline transitioned from 737-200 aircraft to 737-300’s.
  • The aircraft has accomplished 38,568 flights since new, of which 15,308 were accomplished at Cayman Airways
  • It has flown 44,302 hours since new, of which 18,313 were flown at Cayman Airways
  • The aircraft has transported approximately 1.6 million passengers with Cayman Airways 

VP-CKZ 

  • It was delivered from Boeing on January 5, 1996 and is 25 years of age
  • It is the 27, 626th aircraft manufactured by Boeing overall
  • It is the 2,792nd 737 aircraft type manufactured by Boeing
  • Its first operator was Viva Air (Spain), which operated it for three years until it was leased to Air One (Italy) which operated it from March 1999 to early 2008
  • It was delivered to Cayman Airways via a lease from ILFC on November 3, 2008 as the airline transitioned from 737-200 aircraft to 737-300’s.
  • The aircraft has accomplished 37,778 flights since new, of which 14,414 were accomplished at Cayman Airways
  • It has flown 43,177 hours since new, of which 17,617 were flown at Cayman Airways
  • The aircraft has transported approximately 988,569 passengers with Cayman Airways 

The Cayman Airways fleet now consists of three Boeing 737-8 jet aircraft (VP-CIX, VP-CIY, and VP-CIW); along with two Saab 340B+ aircraft (VP-CKI and VP-CBR), and two Twin Otter aircraft (VP-CXA and VP-CXB) for Cayman Airways Express.    

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