Southwest Airlines announced Thursday it will begin scheduled flights to Cuba on November 13th from Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa.
Southwest is promoting the new flights with $59 fares each way if purchased at least two weeks in advance.
Flights from Fort Lauderdale to Varadero will begin November 13th. Southwest will also fly from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa to Havana starting December 12th. The airline hasn’t announced a start date yet to reach Santa Clara.
“Cuba will be the ninth country on our route map and Havana will mark Southwest’s 100th city, a significant and proud milestone,” CEO Gary Kelly said.
These new flights are regular scheduled flights operated under a new agreement between the U.S. and Cuba. Previously, all flights from the U.S. to Cuba were considered “charter” flights. Charter flights have permission to continue flying but may decide to suspend service due to price competition.
For scheduled passenger service to and from each of the nine non-Havana international airports in Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has allocate up to 10 daily round-trip frequencies at each airport, for a total of 90 daily flights. Including Havana, the total number of daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba will be 110.
JetBlue Airways landed first in Santa Clara on August 31. Others are joining suit, including Silver Airways on September 1st with turboprop service and American Airlines, which flew first to Cienfuegos and Holguin on September 8th.
The airlines and routes to Havana approved by DOT are:
- Alaska Airlines, which will operate a 1X-daily flight from Los Angeles;
- American Airlines, which will operate 4X-daily service from Miami and a 1X-daily flight from Charlotte, North Carolina;
- Delta Air Lines, which will operate 1X-daily service to Havana from each of three cities: New York-JFK, Atlanta and Miami;
- Frontier Airlines, which will operate 1X-daily service from Miami;
- JetBlue Airways, which will operate 2X-daily service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (excluding Saturday, which will be 1X-daily) and 1X-daily service from both New York-JFK and Orlando, Florida;
- Southwest Airlines, which will operate 2X-daily service from Fort Lauderdale and1X-daily service from Tampa, Florida;
- Spirit Airlines, which will operate 2X-daily service from Fort Lauderdale; and
- United Airlines, which will operate 1X-daily service from Newark, New Jersey and 1X-weekly service (Saturday) from Houston.
Here are the non-Havana airlines and routes.