Virgin Atlantic has axed plans to resume its Heathrow-Havana service for this winter and says it doesn’t expect to operate flights to the Cuban capital the following winter either.
The airline announced last month that it would operate three flights per week out of Heathrow from 1 November 2022 – signifying a return to the Caribbean country almost three years after its Gatwick-Havana service was pulled.
Virgin blamed ‘unique complexities’ but did not elaborate when contacted by Travel Gossip.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we’ve had to make careful decisions about our network, with regular review of flying and holiday schedules.
“We’re disappointed to confirm that due to the unique complexities of Cuban operations, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw plans to start London Heathrow-Havana services.
“Affected customers were contacted last weekend to inform them of the cancellations and their options, including a travel voucher or a full refund for their cancelled flight or package holiday. Those who booked via a third party such as a travel agent should contact them directly for their options.
“We sincerely apologise for disrupting customers’ plans to visit this vibrant and much-loved leisure destination.
“In recent years Virgin Atlantic operated the UK’s only direct scheduled flights to Havana, working closely with valued partners in Cuba.
“We will keep options under review to return to this unique part of the Caribbean in the future.”
Virgin’s winter-only service had been due to commence from 30 October 2022 and the cancellations affect flights due to operate up to and including 24 March 2023.
Virgin said it has no plans to operate the service for winter 2023.
The last Cuba service operated by Virgin was in March 2020, when the flight operated between Gatwick and Havana.