HAVANA, Sept 29. The Canadian airline WestJet Cargo inaugurated this week a cargo route to Havana, which will be a new source of supply for the island’s MSMEs.as well as for state companies that import finished products to sell online in dollars.
This expansion, according to the American Journal of Transportation, marks WestJet Cargo’s first foray into Cuba. That airline will operate a weekly flight on the Toronto–Havana route with planes with a cargo capacity of 20 tons.
The inaugural flight took place on September 23. According to the Flight Radar website, the plane on that route landed in the Cuban capital after 1:00 PM.
According to the company, WestJet Cargo is equipped to handle various types of cargo, including general cargo, perishables and select dangerous goods, ensuring safe and efficient transportation.
The airline is a division of the WestJet Group of Companies, which offers air cargo services to companies, freight forwarders, shippers and individual customers.
The airline has a fleet of four Boeing 737-800 freighters converted to meet the diverse needs of its customers.
After learning of the announcement, the Cuba-US Economic and Trade Council, one of the main anti-embargo lobbies in the US, indicated: “WestJet Cargo does from Canada to Cuba what FedEx and UPS (yet) do not do (from the US). But the expansion of Cuba’s private sector could change that.”
The expansion of Cuban MSMEs, whose retail sales of imported products, especially from the United States, have come to rival the poor supply of the GAESA military’s dollar stores and state markets, demands an increase in trade routes.
On September 18, the shipping route between Yucatán, Mexico, and Mariel and Cienfuegos, in Cuba, was inaugurated, run by the company Caribbean Smart Cargo. This route transports up to 800 tons of cargo every fortnight.
The shipping company, of Panamanian origin, began operating using the Cuban flagship Ro-Ro Orión as a means of transport, with a capacity of 1,200 tons, distributed in 40 containers and up to 300 pallets in the warehouse for dry cargo.
That ship was built in 1999 and is operated by the Cuban authorities. She usually navigates in a hidden regime, with her satellite locator turned off.
The director of Economic Development and Tourism of Yucatán, José Luis Martínez Semerena, said when announcing the new trade route that since November 2022, when he was at the Havana International Fair, a way was being sought to create commercial ties between Yucatán and Cuba.
“We are going to carry out trade missions like the ones we did in Guatemala. Right now there are already 20 businessmen interested in Mérida to organize a trade mission in Cuba, and the idea is that Cuban businessmen can also come to Mérida,” he told local media Quadratín.
Martínez Semerena added that the Cuban ship comes to reinforce the commercial route that is being established with the Island, and specified that the food sector is one of the most in demand.
Likewise, he pointed out that the commercial portfolio will include basic supplies for Cuban micro and small businesses that sell all kinds of imported products in supermarkets.
This week, more than 70 businessmen from Cuba’s non-state sector, leading MSMEs operating on the Island since 2021, attended a two-day meeting in Miami with Cuban-American businessmen, politicians and U.S. officials.
The trip was planned with the help of businessmen who are members of Washington’s anti-embargo lobby against Havana, such as former Florida congressman Joe García, one of the main promoters of the alleged opening to the private economy of the island’s regime, which it has used to obtain concessions from the US, hiding that it is a disguise for converted state entities and often administered by people close to the leadership or front men.