Could the “air cruise” be the latest travel craze to take-off in the Caribbean? An American travel company is considering making Grand Cayman a regular stop on an island-hopping air tour.
About 20 tourists touched down in George Town on Wednesday as part of the Mauiva Sun & Fun Experience tour, which also stopped in the Bahamas and Jamaica as part of a week-long holiday package. The company, which runs similar “air cruises” within the US, hopes to establish a regular route in the Caribbean region.
Don Hundley, director of marketing for Mauiva AirCruise, said there was potential for flights to leave every other day from Florida for a Caribbean trip. He said the company, which has run four trips in the region following a soft launch, was fine-tuning its itinerary before establishing a more consistent flight schedule.
He believes there is a market for air cruising as a growth area in the Caribbean and sees the Cayman Islands as a strong destination for this type of trip.
“The whole concept is making multi-destination travel simple,” he said. “It cuts down on hassle and travel time and gives people the chance to enjoy the activities and make the most of their time at each destination.”
He said the advantage over a traditional cruise ship was a more authentic island experience and much less time travelling between destinations.
Staff from the airport and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association were on hand to greet the passengers at the general aviation terminal with fruit punch and rum cake.
Jane van der Bol, executive director of the tourism association, shared information with the visitors about the island. She added: “Private air charters have tremendous benefits to travellers such as greater convenience, comfort, privacy and productivity.
“A charter flight compared to a commercial flight requires less travel time and the travel agenda is much more flexible,” she said. “Mauiva AirCruise charter has brought about four charters to the Cayman Islands with a diverse client mix to experience the fine restaurants, hotels, attractions and water sports we have to offer.”
Caren Thompson-Palacio, the airports authority’s business development and marketing manager, said: “The Cayman Islands Airports Authority welcomes the Mauiva AirCruise charter to Grand Cayman and is delighted that they chose to include us in their Sun & Fun Experience. We trust that they will thoroughly enjoy all that our Island has to offer.”