As I was preparing to board my Kenya Airways flight from Johannesburg to Nairobi, I noticed a strange sight: a Cayman Airways 737-300. How did a 737 make it from the Cayman Islands to South Africa?
What Was A Cayman Airways 737-300 Doing In Johannesburg?
Cayman Airways has a very distinct livery with a multi-colored tail reflecting the flag and coat of arms of the British Overseas Territory as well as a “Sir Turtle” logo on its fuselage. I noticed it from a distance at my boarding gate:
Zooming in, I saw it was indeed a Cayman Airways 737-300. But why was it here? What was it possibly doing all the way in OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
I did some digging.
I pulled up the tail number on FlightRadar24 and found it had quite a journey to get to JNB.
It began its journey in Victorville, California which is home to one of the largest airline graveyards in the world. That suggested to me that this plane, a 737-300 that was over 25 years old, has not flown in quite some time.
After leaving Victorville (VCV), it traveled to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), the airport the rich and famous use for their private jets in the Miami area.
Next, it traveled to Bridgetown (BGI) in Barbados, a journey of 1,614 miles.
From Bridgetown, it traveled to Espargos (SID), a 2,453-mile journey to Cape Verde.
The longest leg of the journey was next, at 2,473 miles, from Espargos to Libreville (LBV) in Gabon.
From Gabon, it continued to Johannesburg (JNB), covering a distance of 2,218 miles.
Quite a journey for Sir Turtle!
There’s not much information online about the status of the jet, but it I did find a page that said the aircraft has been acquired by Tvpx Aircraft Solutions (based in Salt Lake City, Utah) and is being operated by Africa Charter Airline. It once flew for VIVA Air and Air One.
So I guess that solves the mystery.
A mysterious 737-300 with Cayman Airways livery has a new home in Johannesburg, South Africa. The aircraft had a quite a journey to reach its destination and will now operate charter missions in South Africa.
Wild journey. Bridgetown is in Barbados, not the Bahamas.
Sounds like a classic ferry operation. Have you discovered the Cockpit Casual series on You Tube? If not, you should.
Nice heads up! Watching the cargo conversion one now.