DENVER — Back at the beginning of the month, Denver International Airport sent out a news release touting its newest nonstop destination: the Cayman Islands.
But, eight days after the route launched, 157 people were killed when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff. This led to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.
And this grounding means that the Cayman Airways flight that was supposed to run nonstop between Colorado the Caribbean might now … have stops.
In a news release announcing the new flight, DIA said the lack of stops cut travel time between Denver and the Grand Cayman from up to 11 hours to just five. And that was thanks in part to the airline’s new fleet made up of the Boeing 737 MAX.
But, following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, Cayman Airways said in a news bulletin that it will replace the Boeing 737 MAX with either a Boeing 737-300 or another type of aircraft.
This means that, according to the news release, “on some legs of our Denver flights, the Boeing 737-300 aircraft may require a short en route fuel stop, depending on passenger loads and atmospheric conditions.”
Without the Boeing 737 MAX, the airline said it has made the trip between Denver and the Caribbean without stopping at least once. That was on March 14, when Cayman Airways said “wind aloft were favorable, and our Boeing 737-300 aircraft was therefore capable of safe nonstop operations on both flight legs, even though the southbound leg was full.”
In a news release announcing Cayman Airways’ addition to DIA’s lineup, the chairman of the board of directors called the Denver flight the “longest scheduled commercial flight we’ve ever operated in the airline’s 50-year history.”
For what it’s worth, DIA claims Colorado has the country’s sixth largest population of SCUBA divers … despite being a very landlocked state.
This is what they said made the addition of Cayman Airways so attractive, and it was the airport's only nonstop flight to the Caribbean.
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