Argentine Airlines Returns to Cuba Despite Low Passenger Traffic Between Both Countries

The announcement of the departure of the flight to Cuba, this Monday, at the Ezeiza airport, in Argentina. (Cubandebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 5 July 2022 — Aerolineas Argentinas reopened its connection between Buenos Aires and Havana this Monday, as announced last April.

As had also been announced, the service began with three weekly flights between both capitals, one more than it had offered before the company ceased operations in Cuba, in 2016.

Before, the government of Mauricio Macri had made the decision to restructure the airline to reduce the deficit it represented for the State: nationalized in 2008, the company cost the country around two million dollars a day.

The savings plan had a significant effect on the planes and, consequently, the routes operated were reduced. At that time, those responsible argued that Cuba had become a very expensive destination, which Havana lamented.

This Monday, the president of Aerolineas Argentinas, Pablo Ceriani, said in statements reported by the official press, that the route is “highly requested by agencies and tour operators, both from Argentina and from different places in the region,” and that the resumption of the connection “will contribute to deepen the cultural, economic and tourist exchange between the two countries.”

Similarly, the Minister of Tourism of Cuba in Argentina, Janet Ayala, declared that “this route is highly demanded in the market because the main limitation to growth in the number of travelers to the Island is air connectivity.”

However, according to official data, Cuba is not a significant tourist or commercial destination for Argentina. In fact, when he announced the resumption of flights to Havana three months ago, Ceriani did not provide data that would allow evaluating the profitability of that route.

Critical voices then attributed the decision to the political closeness between the Cuban regime and the Argentine vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who owes a personal debt to Raúl Castro and Díaz-Canel for having given shelter to her daughter, Florencia, when she was being investigated in her country for money laundering.


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