Cayman Airways will launch direct flights to Barbados this winter, marking a significant expansion for the national airline. The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan, along with Cayman Airways representatives and Barbados Tourism Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill via Zoom. 

Minister Bryan said the new route, tentatively set to launch on 18 Oct., will be a “game changer”, opening up travel between Cayman and the eastern Caribbean. It will also establish Cayman as a hub for travel between Barbados and North America and Barbados as a hub for European travel to Cayman, he said.

The new flights will eliminate the need for Grand Cayman travellers to fly via the US to reach several eastern Caribbean destinations like Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Bryan said the route will improve connectivity to the United Kingdom, providing a new option beyond the current London Heathrow service by British Airways via Nassau, Bahamas. It is expected that the new route will increase travel from the UK and Europe and foster cultural connections between Cayman and Barbados.

The flight schedules are subject to approval, but it is anticipated they will operate on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the possibility of Barbados-Cayman travellers connecting to CAL’s Los Angeles flights. Bryan emphasised that this route agreement would be mutually beneficial for both Cayman and Barbados, potentially boosting tourism in both places.

The move comes as part of efforts to enhance air travel interconnectivity between Caribbean islands, offering new opportunities for travel. To encourage travel to Barbados, the government there reduced the airport service charge for CARICOM travellers until 14 Dec.

With this new route and interline agreements with airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Cayman Airways aims to expand its reach further, making it easier for travellers from Europe and the US to access the Caribbean through the Cayman Islands.

The Barbados route will be the fourth Caribbean destination served by Cayman Airways, which currently offers flights to Jamaica, Cuba, and Honduras.