TUI has suspended sales to Cuba as part of a review of its long-haul programme.
It is also understood to be considering pulling Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast, with holiday sales suspended for next summer.
Its flights from Manchester to Varadero, which were the only direct option to Cuba from the UK, will cease at the end of April 2024 and will not resume next winter.
In a message sent to customers booked on its cancelled Cuba flights, TUI said: “Due to a review of our flying programme we’ve taken the difficult decision to withdraw flights to Varadero, Cuba for summer and winter 24 – this means that unfortunately your flight has been cancelled.
“We understand you’ll be disappointed, and we’d like to apologise for this.”
TUI customers have been posting concerned messages on social media, having heard rumours about the cancellation of both the Cuba and Puerto Vallarta flights. In response to one such post on one of its official Facebook groups, TUI wrote: “We’re aware that Puerto Vallarta /Cuba are not showing any availability for summer 24, we’re reviewing our programme and these destinations have been removed from sale.
“If you’ve already booked, we’re working on finding a suitable alternative long haul destination for you at no additional cost and we’ll be getting in touch to discuss your options. Please bear with us whilst we work through these arrangements.
“If you do have any booking specific queries our main Tui page will be able to support you and look into your booking.”
TUI told Travel Gossip: “We regularly review our flying programme and as a result we will no longer operate to Cuba for Summer 2024.
“Those customers who have booked will be contacted directly and offered a fee free change to another long haul destination with a 10 per cent rebooking incentive or a full refund.”
TUI has not confirmed its plans for Puerto Vallarta.
Cuba specialist Simply Cuba said the axing of TUI’s Manchester flight would impact other operators selling the Caribbean island since there are no other direct flights from the UK.
Simply Cuba’s Alan Meadows said: “This is not exactly good news, but our clients are the sort of people who really want to see Cuba so we are looking at rebooking them on indirect flights.
“We will lose some bookings but we are hoping to keep the majority.”