The First Southwest Airlines Cuba Flight
The Southwest Airlines Cuba flight departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and landed at Juan G. Gómez International Airport, near Varadero resort on 11/13/16. This is the first of three different flights from Fort Lauderdale. The two other flights will land in Santa Clara and the Cuba’s capitol city, Havana. A Tampa flight will also go to Havana.
It was mostly Cubans living in the United States that made this inaugural 45 minute flight. This airport receives about 140 flights/week from various countries. This includes only 4 daily US flights.
Quote: “The Boeing 737-700 touched Cuban soil yesterday noon and, according to Manuel de Oyarzabal Castellanos, one of the company’s 17 executives who traveled on this inaugural flight, this is the beginning of other operations by this airline that will also reach cities like Havana and Santa Clara.
Steve Goldberg, Vice President Ground Operations of the airline, confessed being excited about this opening and stated that the employees worked hard to open that route and a new chapter for people wanting to visit Cuba.”
Varadero, in Northern Matanzas Province, is a 20 km long stretch of golden white sand with a whole string of all-inclusive resorts. It is the biggest resort area in Cuba, and maybe of the entire Caribbean. That may be its biggest problem; it has some stunning beaches, but they are all covered in resorts. A great place to enjoy sand, water, scrumptious food, but you won’t see the real Cuba here. It is a great place to start though.
The SWA Santa Clara flight will put tourists near the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara and close to little towns like Remedios and Caiberien, the gateway city to Cayo Santa Maria, another set of resort at the end of a long causeway.
Their Havana flight starts in December. Everyone knows of the wonderment of Havana.
SW Airlines Announced Cuba Flights are:
From Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLL – Havana (HAV) – 2 daily nonstops – Service begins Monday, 12/12
FLL – Varadero (VRA) – 2 daily nonstops – Service begins Sunday, 11/13
FLL – Santa Clara (SNU) – 1 daily nonstop – Service begins Thursday, 12/15
From Tampa, FL
TPA – Havana (HAV) – 1 daily nonstop – Service begins Monday, 12/12
For the scoop on other airlines flying to Cuba, see US Flights to Cuba