Operator reassures agents travel to Cuba ‘remains easy’ despite axing of direct flights

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Operator reassures agents travel to Cuba ‘remains easy’ despite axing of direct flights

Tour operator Captivating Cuba insists that TUI’s decision to axe the UK’s only direct flight to Cuba will not impact bookings for the Caribbean island.

TUI’s flight from Manchester to Varadero will be dropped from the end of April 2024 and will not resume next winter.

But Captivating Cuba Director Matthew O’Sullivan said there are still ‘plenty of competitively-priced flights’ to Cuba from the UK, including an Air France five-times-a-week service from Paris with connecting flights from regional airports such as Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.

“Iberia, who codeshare with British Airways, offer flights via Madrid trhree times a week from London and Dublin,” he added.

“Condor fly to Holguin up to twice a week via Frankfurt from Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. 

“Air Europa operate a daily service from London Gatwick via Madrid to Havana with a fleet of Dreamliners and offer a two-cabin service. By the end of March when they expect to take delivery of new aircraft, they will offer economy, plus a business class cabin with fully flat beds.”

In addition, Matthew said Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet flights are ‘frequently cheaper than the TUI flight’ and fly to a range of Cuban destinations including Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguin. 

“Some flights require an overnight stay, one direction only and we have had customers combining a Toronto city break with Cuba,” added Matthew.

“We continue to receive an increasing steady flow of bookings for two-centre holidays with Cuba paired with destinations that offer UK direct flights such as Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. 

“Open-jaw flights work very well with these destinations, requiring a flight change in only one direction.

“We’ve worked solely with Cuba for more than 25 years as a dedicated specialist and have seen many UK airlines and travel companies come and go, but travel demand for the island always remains high and enthusiasm from our customers hasn’t wavered. It’s business as usual.”

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