Every action is followed by a reaction, at the peak of the Cuban tourism high-season (November-April), with hopes for a 17% improvement on the same period last year, the sustained increase in passengers traveling to the island is being backed by the rapid development of air transport operations and gradual progress in securing investment projects to optimize infrastructure conditions.
So, in contrast to what the mass media broadcast many airlines have responded to the demand for more flights to Cuba. According to the President of Cuba’s Civil Aviation Institute (IACC), an increasing number of airlines are flying direct to the island’s ten international airports.
List of some of the airlines that have been entering the Cuban air space and links with them:
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Sun Country
- Sunrise Airways
- Silver Airways
- Aruba Airlines
- Eastern Airlines
- Air Caraibes
- Turkish Airlines
- Dreamliner by Air Europa
At the end of 2016, 80 airlines were serving the island, of which 61 with regular flights, and 19 charters. This summer a new airline from Suriname is expected to join this number.
Airlines themselves have recognized how much swifter the process of receiving passengers now is on the island. In the immediate future investments should be undertaken on a larger scale, as between 60 and 80 of the over 150 flights that arrive daily to Cuba, land at Havana’s José Martí International Airport.
As such, it is understandable that the infrastructure improvement process is currently focused on the capital’s airport (by the Bouygues Construction Co. and Paris Airports Co.), which saw an increase in operations of 24% last year.
Cuban civil aviation authorities have reported that, by the close of 2016, air operations had increased by 18%, as a result of the growing interest among global travelers in visiting the island.
Considering that average annual air transport growth in any other country ranges between 3-6%, the increase seen in Cuba is extraordinary.
Cuba expects to receive 4.2 million tourists by December 2017. By the end of January this year, the island had already seen growth of 15% in traveler arrivals.