GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman–National flag carrier Cayman Airways Ltd. could enter a new phase of expansion during 2014 that could include new routes to Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. The airline was established and started operations on August 7th, 1968. It was formed following the Cayman Government’s purchase of 51% of Cayman Brac Airways from LACSA (the now defunct Costa Rican flag carrier) and became wholly government owned in December 1977. A few months after it was formed, Cayman Airways flew its first international route to Kingston, Jamaica leasing a LACSA BAC-111-500. The airline acquired its first jet aircraft in 1978 and began services to Houston. In 1982 the airline acquired a Boeing 727-200 aircraft to strengthen the airline’s regional and international capability, also allowing for the introduction of first class service. These jets were eventually replaced with Boeing 737-300 series, and during the 1980s Cayman Airways offered scheduled or charter service to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, & St. Louis. As the national flag carrier for the Cayman Islands, Cayman Airways now operates non-stop Boeing 737 jet service between Grand Cayman and the following major US cities: Miami and Tampa, Florida; Washington DC; New York, New York; and Chicago, Illinois. Nonstop jet service is also provided between Grand Cayman and regional destinations, including: Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Havana, Cuba; and La Ceiba, Honduras.The airline’s Cayman Airways Express service also operates Twin Otter aircrafts between Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
ORANJESTAAD, Aruba–The Aruban airline, Tiara Air recently filed for an automatic stay which will prevent creditors and collectors from trying to collect debts from the ailing air company. Tiara Air N.V., operating as Tiara Air Aruba, is an airline headquartered and based on the grounds of Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean, which began operations in 2006. The airline currently operates scheduled flights to Bonaire, Colombia, Curacao, Fort Lauderdale and Caracas, Maracaibo and Punto Fijo in Venezuela. The airline operates a fleet consisting of the Shorts 360 and one Boeing 737-300 aircraft for passenger operations, with a Learjet 35 for ambulance and private operations. The airline has been camping with financial trouble for a while now. The government headed by Prime Minister Mike Eman has recently approved a bridge loan from a special emergency fund to keep the airline operating while waiting for the Venezuelan Commission for the Administration of Currency Exchange (CADIVI). CADIVI is one of the main causes of financial problems for various airlines in the Caribbean region, including the Curacao airline Insel Air. According to CADIVI reports, Venezuela owes Tiara Air about 40 million dollars.The automatic stay will give the company the required space to adjust its operations and to reduce its flights to Venezuela. The airline announced that it will increase its operations to Curacao, Bonaire and Colombia. The airline had expansion plans into Panama and Costa Rica, but at the moment new routes are not considered. The Netherlands Antilles have lost several national airlines: ALM Antillean Airlines (Antilliaanse Luchtvaart Maatschappij) that ceased operations in 2001, Air Aruba that ceased operations in 2000 and Dutch Antilles Express ceased in 2013.