Virgin Atlantic Halts Its Return to Cuba

Virgin Atlantic Halts Its Return to Cuba

HAVANA, May 29th  Virgin Atlantic (VS) has suspended its November 2022 return to Cuba due to the complexity of the operation bound for the Caribbean island.A month after announcing the resumption of flights to Havana after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, VS announced on Friday morning, May 27, that it would postpone its return to the Cuban market for at least one more year.

On April 24, the British carrier announced its return to José Martí International Airport (HAV) starting November 1 of this year, with three flights a week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from London Heathrow (LHR) operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft configured with 264 seats in three classes. Ticket sales began the same day.

The route is canceled until the winter season in the northern hemisphere next year, that is, December 2023. Through a press release, the carrier confirmed the decision to suspend its return to Havana, stating that it was motivated by the complexity of operating in Cuba, without giving further details.

Change of Plans until Winter 2023

Customers affected by the change of plans will be contacted by the airline starting this weekend, where they may choose to receive a travel voucher, a full refund of the value of the tickets, or reschedule the flights free of charge to December of next year. Passengers who have booked through third parties, such as travel agencies, should contact them directly for information on rebooking.

Virgin Atlantic launched flights to Havana in 2005 and would currently be the only airline to offer non-stop direct flights between the UK and the Cuban capital. The airline’s last flight in Cuba occurred on March 23, 2020, when it operated its last flight between Havana and London Gatwick (LGW) prior to the onset of the pandemic.

For the time being, the capitals of Cuba and the United Kingdom will continue to have no direct connection. The only flights operating between the Caribbean Island and the UK are those from the German charter airline Condor (DE) via Manchester-Varadero, the latter a popular Cuban beach resort town.