Tour operator Captivating Cuba assures that TUI’s recent decision to discontinue the UK’s sole direct flight to Cuba will not adversely affect bookings for the Caribbean destination. TUI’s Manchester to Varadero route is set to be discontinued from the end of April 2024, with no plans for resumption next winter.
Despite this development, Captivating Cuba’s Director, Matthew O’Sullivan, says that there are still abundant and competitively priced flight options to Cuba from the UK. Notably, Air France operates a five-times-a-week service from Paris, connecting through regional airports like Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester. Additionally, Iberia, in collaboration with British Airways, offers flights via Madrid three times a week from London and Dublin.
Mr. O’Sullivan points out that Condor provides flights to Holguin, with up to two weekly flights via Frankfurt from Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow. Furthermore, Air Europa operates a daily service from London Gatwick to Havana via Madrid, featuring Dreamliner aircraft and, starting at the end of March, introducing a two-cabin service with economy and business class cabins, including fully flat beds.
Highlighting alternatives, Mr. O’Sullivan mentions that Air Canada, Air Transat, and WestJet frequently offer more economical options than the TUI flight. These airlines also serve various Cuban destinations, such as Cayo Coco, Santa Clara, and Holguin. Some of these flights may involve an overnight stay, typically in one direction, and he notes that some customers have combined a Toronto city break with a visit to Cuba.
Captivating Cuba continues to experience a growing stream of bookings for holidays, pairing Cuba with destinations offering direct UK flights, such as Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. Flights, requiring a change in only one direction, are highlighted as particularly convenient. Mr. O’Sullivan underscores the enduring demand for travel to Cuba, emphasising that, despite changes in the industry over the past 25 years, customer enthusiasm remains strong, and the company is operating as usual.