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World2Fly And Iberojet Resume Flights to Varadero from Portugal

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The Spanish airlines will operate, each one, a weekly flight from Lisbon to Varadero on Saturdays.

The Spanish airlines Iberojet and World2Fly resumed their direct flights between Lisbon, Portugal, and Varadero, Cuba, on Saturday, as reported by official sources.

Since it premiered this route in 2022, World2Fly, an airline associated with the Iberostar hotel chain that focuses on the commercialization of vacation flights, has flown every summer to the tourist destination in Matanzas from the Portuguese capital.

This time, an Airbus A330-300, with capacity for more than 380 passengers, arrived at Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport.

World2Fly flights will have a weekly frequency, arriving in Cuba every Saturday at 7:45 pm, reported Liuba Quintero Ávila, head of the Ground Operations Unit at the airport, to the Cuban News Agency.

According to the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba and the Cuba Travel website, the airline has added its fourth frequency to Havana from Madrid, starting on April 2, and will maintain those flights until October 22. Additionally, it will add a fifth frequency from June 20 to September 12.

Meanwhile, Iberojet also resumed its seasonal operations from Portugal this Saturday, which will run until next October. The first flight carried 382 passengers to Varadero, and the frequency of the trips will also be weekly.

At the end of last year, the Spanish company announced the cancellation of its flights to Havana starting in January 2024; months earlier, it had already reported the suspension starting in October of its Madrid-Santiago de Cuba route for “operational reasons.”

However, last April, Iberojet announced the restart of its operations to Varadero, from June 1st to October 5th, and the opening of the Madrid-Santa Clara route from July 17th to September 4th, with a weekly flight on Wednesdays.

In addition, from June 25 to September 10, Iberojet/Avoris will cover the route from Lisbon to Santa Clara with a weekly flight every Tuesday.

Cuban tourism is in need of a strong influx of travelers, after experiencing a steady decline in the number of visitors and hotel occupancy rates in recent years.

In 2023, the Cuban regime aimed to receive 3.5 million international tourists, but their hopes were dashed when only 2.4 million visitors arrived in the country, falling more than 30% below the government’s projections.

In the first four months of this year, one million visitors arrived on the island, according to the Ministry of Tourism, which once again sets its goal for 2024 at over three million.

However, the context becomes adverse when taking into account the continuous complaints about the poor quality of the facilities, the lack of variety of food, and the presence of cockroaches and other hygiene issues in the hotels.

A grim incident further raised alarms and called into question the quality and reliability of tourist services in Cuba: the mistake in repatriating the bodies of a Canadian tourist and a Russian tourist who died while vacationing on the island.

However, the Cuban government is aiming to attract Russian nationals to the country and estimates a figure of over 200,000 tourists for this year.

Furthermore, at the beginning of this month, it announced the visa exemption for Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports, with the intention of promoting an increase in tourists from that nation. A few days earlier, Air China, the flagship airline of the Asian country, had resumed flights from Beijing to Havana with a layover in Madrid. (Agencia Cubana de Noticias)

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