Future of LHR-Grand Cayman

Old Feb 16, 15, 11:15 am
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Future of LHR-Grand Cayman

The rumour in Cayman is that the BA service via Nassau is going to be terminating at Nassau in the not very distant future (from 2016) with the add to Cayman dropped altogether. Has anyone got any more insight? Rumours have also abounded for a while that the current 767s would be replaced with 777s on the GCM route. thanks for any feedback.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 11:20 am
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Can't answer the first part I'm afraid, but at the moment, I don't think Grand Cayman can take 777s. The runway is being extended at the moment/soon though, so certainly in a year or so it's possible BA may use a 777 or 787 there (unless like you're suggesting, they stop flying there!).
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Old Feb 16, 15, 11:22 am
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I believe that it will continue to go via NAS and will be upgraded to a B777 November 2016.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 11:24 am
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It can take 777s, just lightly loaded, which is fine as the leg from NAS to GCM carries very little cargo and probably only 70 pax in peak season. The runway is too short for either the 767 or 777 to have enough run up with a full fuel load to be able to cross the atlantic, hence the stop in Nassau from where it can get the run up without ending up in the sea!
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Old Feb 16, 15, 11:47 am
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Could BA set up a single B737 or A320 operation in somewhere like Turks or Barbados, something like BA Caribbean to take over destinations like Gran Cayman or Port of Spain? So a double daily B777 to take passengers to Grand Turks or Barbados and the smaller B737/A320 to take transit passengers to the final destination. A special transit procedure could be set up for this purpose. By doing that, BA could free up one or two B777 for destinations require the larger frame. Just my cents, I am sure someone else have better coins. But don't shoot.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 12:01 pm
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I do recall this was at one time tipped to be a 787 route, wasn't it?

chongcao I don't think the economies of these add ons work. IB used to have one out of MIA and I think DL inherited one from NW out of Japan but codeshares seem to be the preferred way ahead now.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by chongcao View Post
Could BA set up a single B737 or A320 operation in somewhere like Turks or Barbados, something like BA Caribbean to take over destinations like Gran Cayman or Port of Spain? So a double daily B777 to take passengers to Grand Turks or Barbados and the smaller B737/A320 to take transit passengers to the final destination. A special transit procedure could be set up for this purpose. By doing that, BA could free up one or two B777 for destinations require the larger frame. Just my cents, I am sure someone else have better coins. But don't shoot.
Why do they need this when they have AA from MIA? Is it that certain of the passengers to GCM daren't set foot in the US?

Alternatively I would guess JetBlue would be delighted to handle the traffic.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by bernardd View Post
Why do they need this when they have AA from MIA? Is it that certain of the passengers to GCM daren't set foot in the US?
British Overseas Territories Citizens would need to apply for a visa to transit the USA, unless they also have a UK passport (or are a resident of Bermuda).

I do not know if the GCM route is used heavily by persons going from GCM to the UK but the additional paperwork required would no doubt suppress demand from that end.

Last edited by Calchas; Feb 16, 15 at 1:41 pm
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Old Feb 16, 15, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
I do recall this was at one time tipped to be a 787 route, wasn't it?

chongcao I don't think the economies of these add ons work. IB used to have one out of MIA and I think DL inherited one from NW out of Japan but codeshares seem to be the preferred way ahead now.
I'm sure if a franchisee stepped forward BA would accept them at the right price.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 2:51 pm
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Cayman airways tried to link up with virgin via havana, but then it is government owned effectively so that venture (rumour) failed. This comes up every now and then and i keep hearing the 777 has landed and taken off fine in the past and i think for a while ba did not fly to cayman. There was a thread a few months back where someone said the 787 was too heavy but it will be a 777?? Frankly ba price the 252/253 in such a way that i go via mia, as i am doing tomorrow. I phoned up once after a schedule change to be toldthe 252/253 is a premium service Vs the 747 upper deck via miami. Madness. There are a lot of people in cayman rely on it for visa reasons (a few years back it was reported cayman had people from nearly every nation on earth, 120 different nations or something which i may be grossly exaggerating if you believed the compass, quick wiki search mentions > 100), but i wont miss it to be honest. Just run an atr gcm-nas and back and make it a feeder flight. Ps i know, not helpful overall but CIHY said what has been on the marl road and no reason to doubt so far, but who knows what ba will do in a year. What i do know is the mothers/fathers of the brits hate going via miami, they like to get on the 252/253 and just settle in. The mo-in-law did gcm-mia-lhr once and she still hates me for suggesting she gives it a try....

Last edited by jcm9000; Feb 16, 15 at 3:32 pm
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Old Feb 16, 15, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by jcm9000 View Post
What i do know is the mothers/fathers of the brits hate going via miami, they like to get on the 252/253 and just settle in. The mo-in-law did gcm-mia-lhr once and she still hates me for suggesting she gives it a try....
As someone who missed an early evening connection and had to overnight at my own cost in a lousy Hotel in MIA last Spring purely due to the zoo that is their Customs Hall, I guess I can understand their point of view, but how much of a premium does BA charge for avoiding MIA?

I've no idea who owns MIA but I'm staggered that they spent so much on revamping the terminals yet neglected the grossly overloaded Customs facilities. Was that the product of a gross miscalculation or something more unsavory?
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Old Feb 16, 15, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jcm9000 View Post
The mo-in-law did gcm-mia-lhr once and she still hates me for suggesting she gives it a try....
I have to agree with your mother in law... I would never transfer in the US unless at did not have a choice.

Hope BA keeps GCM. I am sure they have a plan already set for their LHR-Caribbean routes.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Calchas View Post
British Overseas Territories Citizens would need to apply for a visa to transit the USA, unless they also have a UK passport (or are a resident of Bermuda).

I do not know if the GCM route is used heavily by persons going from GCM to the UK but the additional paperwork required would no doubt suppress demand from that end.
If there is a 'like' button I will give it to you. Enough said I think.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 6:42 pm
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I doubt GCM would be spending the money on the runway unless they had some confidence in the flight continuing - CapEx in Cayman is very much restricted right now due to UK borrowing restrictions. With the price difference between KIN and GCM, it must be working for BA or they wouldn't be able to charge such a premium?

With the new MIA automated passport machines, transiting in Miami is now very rapid for visa waiver holders however there are large numbers of Cayman Residents who don't have the right to transit via the US, and if they lost this route, would have to transit via Jamaica.

I would note though that in the current High Life magazine, GCM is marked as a seasonal destination even though current timetables continue into 2016 without a break.
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Old Feb 16, 15, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Calchas View Post
British Overseas Territories Citizens would need to apply for a visa to transit the USA, unless they also have a UK passport (or are a resident of Bermuda).
BOTC Passport holders are entitled to apply for (and generally hold) a full British Citizen passport to make travel easier.
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