Launch of UK charter flights to Cuba delayed until June

By Lisa James
Home » Launch of UK charter flights to Cuba delayed until June

The launch of new direct charter flights to Cuba has been pushed back until at least next month, with services only operating from Gatwick.

The non-stop services, from Gatwick and Manchester, had been due to launch in early May – the only direct flights to the Caribbean island from the UK since TUI’s flights to Cuba ceased at the end of April.

Passenger flights had been due to launch from Manchester on 10 May, operating to Holguin every Friday, and from Gatwick to Cayo Coco (pictured) every Sunday from 12 May.

It’s understood flights will now operate from Gatwick to Holguin and Havana twice a week and the planned Manchester service will not now go ahead.

The flights are being chartered by Iron Travel, an operator with its main office in Spain, and Euro Airlines will handle the ticketing.

Iron Travel Commercial Manager William Ruano said: “We agreed to push back the operation as it was too soon and we have decided to change the routes too. Now we are going for the historical one: London LGW to Holguin HOG – Havana HAV twice a week. All of this changing [will be] subject to confirmation this week.

“Once we have everything in place we will announcing to the trade. We hope to move it for the end of June or beginning of July.”

He said the main reason the flights have been changed is that operators and agents had said most Cuba programmes are based in Havana.

Simply Cuba Business Development Manager Alan Meadows had been due to host a fam trip with UK agents, leaving on the first flight out of Manchester, but it has had to be postponed.

He said: “I have 14 disappointed agents and no real reason has been given [for the launch delay]. They’re disappointed but they understand it is beyond our control and we’re looking forward to rescheduling the fam trip when we can.”

Travel Gossip reported last month that the new charter flights would be operated by Maleth Aero, using an A330-200 offering both economy and business-class seating.

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