World’s Largest Tour Operator Will Not Fly to Cuba as of 2024

TUI will suspend flights between Manchester and Varadero. (Latin Press)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, December 3, 2023 — The German company TUI, the largest tour operator in the world, will stop operating the route between Manchester, United Kingdom and Varadero, Cuba starting in April 2024, company sources reported. According to the specialized portal Reportur, the flights scheduled between the United Kingdom and Cuba for this winter – the only connection that currently exists between the two nations – will remain as planned.

“We periodically review our flight schedule and, as a result, we will no longer operate to Cuba as of the summer of 2024,” a TUI spokesperson told the tourism magazine Travel Weekly. He added that customers who already had reservations “will be contacted directly and offered a free change to another long-haul destination” or a 100% refund of their ticket.

With this suspension, a person can only fly from Europe to the Island through airlines such as World2Fly, Air France, Condor, Air Europa, KLM and Iberia, which work together with British Airways for this destination.

“We periodically review our flight schedule and, as a result, we will no longer operate to Cuba as of the summer of 2024”

A few weeks ago it was also learned that the Spanish company Iberojet will stop flying to Havana in 2024. As 14ymedio confirmed speaking to an employee of the company, they will have no connection with the Island starting January 15 and they do not know when they will resume operations. However, they will open two routes to Santa Clara, explained the same source, from Madrid and Lisbon, but “starting next summer.”

The airline had already canceled its Madrid-Santiago de Cuba route last September, barely a year after inaugurating it, but, on this occasion, it is a measure that will take place in the middle of the high season, which illustrates the debacle of foreign tourism the island.

Although some routes will stop operating in 2024, others will add service, as is the case of Saint Petersburg and Cayo Coco (Ciego de Ávila). The Island’s ambassador in Moscow, Julio Garmendia, informed the official press last Thursday about an agreement between Russia and the Island to establish this connection at the end of the year. The decision, which responds to the agreement between both nations to promote Russian tourism in Cuba, also includes a flight between Havana and the Russian capital.

“At the end of December, it is planned to resume direct Aeroflot trips, carried out by the Rossiya airline, between the capitals of both countries, as well as one every ten days from Saint Petersburg to Cayo Coco,” Garmendia said.

As of last October, the Island had received 1,973,085 international travelers since January, very far from the goal of 3.5 million set by the regime for 2023. In October only 158,935 tourists entered the country.


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