Southwest Airlines Expanding Havana, Cuba Service

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Delta Air Lines has discontinued their New York (JFK) to Havana, Cuba service as of September 1, 2018, due to poor performance, which is also causing JetBlue to discontinue their Saturday service from New York (JFK) Havana, Cuba as well.

We wrote how Southwest and American Airlines Compete for Delta’s Cuba Route, and it’s finally been awarded to Southwest Airlines, who plans to expand their Havana service from Tampa International Airport.

The Department of Transportation has a limit of 20 daily flights between the United States and Havana, Cuba, which is why when Delta cancelled their route, competition heated up on who would receive an extra route. Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines expressed increase their Havana service from Florida.

Per Travel Pulse,

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Friday that it had tentatively approved Southwest Airlines’ proposal to add a new weekly flight to Cuba from Florida.

Southwest has been offering daily journeys between Havana and Tampa International Airport since December 2016 with an average of 133 passengers on each flight. The passenger numbers have been on the rise for Southwest despite shifting circumstances in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, which factored into the department’s decision.

While Southwest was awarded the Cuban flight, the DOT has added a startup condition that will force the airline to launch its new Saturday flight to Havana within 90 days after December 1, the carrier’s proposed startup date.

See our other Havana, Cuba coverage:

What are your thoughts on Southwest Airlines expanding their service to Havana? Have you had the opportunity to visit Cuba recently? Feel free to share in the comments below. 

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  1. Miami is where all the action is so it should have been awarded to AA to MIA. Southwest will lose money on this route. Cuba is not a goldmine. Maybe it was in the 1940s.

  2. Until Cuba loosens up on Communism and allows for private enterprise to start to build infrastructure to first world standards, going forward the passengers to Cuba will mainly consist of Cubans visiting relatives and some U.S. adventurer/explorer types. The initial interest of visiting Cuba for American tourists will wain.

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