BlueSky Airlines: Fly to the Caribbean, Bypass the U.S.

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Caribbean Journal recently announced a “new Caribbean airline in development”: BlueSky Airlines. Based in the Cayman Islands, the company will include destinations across the Caribbean Basin, from Nassau to Cartagena, Colombia. BlueSky Airlines is not new, but the Caribbean trips are.

Rankin is the owner of the Paramount Group, a major conglomerate in the Cayman Islands. Their mission is “connecting the Caribbean and Latin America in a more convenient and simple way,” according to the statement.

Subject to government approval, the company’s plan is to operate direct flights from Grand Cayman to Santo Domingo, Montego Bay, Panama City, Cartagena, Cancun and Nassau. From those locations, the carrier will then offer “onward flights to Tortola, Bogota and San Jose.” [. . .]

Routes Online reported that the airline service was already planning to run scheduled flights, offering new services linking Grand Cayman to islands around the Caribbean, as well as central and South America. According to the managing director of BlueSky, Matt Ellinger has said that “BlueSky is an airline that has been built out of the niche in the Caribbean and Latin America that is the need for connectivity.” He added that the airline tried to simplify routes by bypassing the U.S. and feeding the areas major hubs like Panama, Bogota, and Cancun. Here are excerpts from Routes:

Currently there is limited capacity for customers hopping from one island to another or for travel from one of the Caribbean islands to Latin America. On many city pairs the only option is to transit via another airport, quite often Miami.

“Our strategy is very simple. We want to open up new direct routes to enable connectivity without the need to make a change,” said Ellinger. “In addition we want to feed the areas major hubs like Panama, Bogota, Cancun, to make connections on to other parts of Latin America and Europe.”

BlueSky plans to launch operations in the middle of this year and has selected the Bombardier Aerospace Dash 8-Q400NetGen turboprop as its entry to market aircraft. “It’s a fantastic high-speed turboprop. It’s just perfect for these markets,” said Ellinger, noting the type’s excellent operating costs. “The speed on flights of around an hour or an hour and a half, which are the average, we will be maybe five minutes slower than a jet but at a quarter of the operating costs.”

It will initially take a conservative approach, according to Ellinger and launch with just two aircraft flying from the Cayman Islands. “Our main destinations are going to be the Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands, Nassau, Turks & Caicos and Cancun to the west. Down to the south we will have Panama; San Andreas, Colombia; as well as Bogota and Cartagena,” he added.

For full articles, see http://www.caribjournal.com/2015/03/15/a-new-caribbean-airline/ and http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/239927/routes-americas-bluesky-airlines-selects-dash-8-q400-for-regional-routes/

Also see http://www.blueskyairways.co.bw/ and http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/239927/routes-americas-bluesky-airlines-selects-dash-8-q400-for-regional-routes/

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