AREQUIPA, Peru. – U.S. airline Southwest announced the cancellation of its route from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the José Martí International Airport in Havana.
The company made the news known through a press release, joining other airlines such as Jet Blue, Delta and United which cancelled or reduced their operations to and from Cuba in prior months.
According to Southwest’s press release, cancellation is the result of a lack of profitability for the route. The airline’s flights to the Cuban capital from Tampa, Florida, remain the same.
A company spokesperson, quoted by the U.S.- Cuba Trade and Economic Council, stated that operations from Tampa are much greater for Southwest and benefits clients in a larger part of its network.
“In a few words, Cuba continues to be accessible to our South Florida clientele willing to consider the possibility of connecting in Tampa, where we maintain daily services and luggage goes on board free-of-charge, without transfer fees,” explained the spokesperson.
Last September, Delta Airlines and United Airlines requested from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), an exemption due to inactivity on several of its routes due to low demand on travel between the U.S. and the island.
A report from the Aviación Online website, indicated that “due to present limitations in frequencies for the Cuban market, there are more flights and seats than can be justified by demand.”
Delta Airlines asked DOT for a seasonal exemption between October 29th, 2023 and March 30th, 2024 for its seven frequencies Atlanta-Havana and six frequencies Miami-Havana.
In late August, it was learnt that JetBlue regarded its services in its present market to Havana as unsustainable, having decided to end all its operations to the island as of September 17th, 2023.
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