Southwest Airlines has officially begun service to Cuba, with the launch of new flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and the resort hub of Varadero.
The first Varadero flight touched down with 143 passengers and crew on Sunday.
“Our Employees have worked hard to open this route and a new chapter for people who want to connect with Cuba in ways that matter most to them,” said Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Ground Operations who is also Southwest’s executive ambassador to Florida.
Goldberg also announced that Southwest intends to begin once-daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara on Dec. 15, subject to government approval.
“By the end of this year, we’ll offer six daily roundtrips between two Florida gateways and three Cuban cities as the work continues to open a new, five-gate international concourse here in Fort Lauderdale next summer,” he said.
Southwest Airlines will begin flights to Havana out of both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa beginning Dec. 12.