Turkish Airlines Increases Weekly Flights Between Havana and Istanbul

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Olivia Torres

Turkish Airlines Increases Weekly Flights Between Havana and Istanbul
Avión de Turkish Airlines (Imagen de referencia) - Imagen de © Wikimedia

Turkish Airlines is set to increase its weekly flights to Cuba to five during the 2024-2025 season. The national carrier of Turkey will add a fifth weekly frequency on the Istanbul-Havana-Caracas-Istanbul route starting from November 15, utilizing a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, as reported by aviation-specialized portal AeroRoutes.

The round-trip ticket prices listed on the airline's website are set to be approximately $1,250 starting from the specified date in November. Although Turkey is not among the top tourist-sending countries to Cuba, it could serve as a gateway for travelers from nations such as Russia.

Founded in 1933 as State Airlines Administration (DHY), Turkish Airlines has its main hub at Istanbul Airport. The airline boasts a fleet of 315 aircraft and reaches more than 322 destinations across Turkey, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, making it one of the world's leading airlines by number of countries served.

Turkish Airlines began its operations in Cuba in 2016. In 2022, the airline announced it would operate three weekly flights to Havana, an increase from the previous schedule of two weekly flights. In 2022, the latest official data available, only 9,190 Turkish tourists traveled to Cuba, compared to 15,150 in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

In an effort to reach 3.5 million international tourists this year, the Cuban Ministry of Tourism has been focused on increasing direct air connections to Cuba. The regime is placing its hopes on markets such as China, Turkey, Poland, and Russia.

Earlier in May, the Cuban Minister of Tourism, Juan Carlos García, announced a visa exemption for Chinese citizens. Although there are currently no direct flights between China and Cuba, Air China is expected to resume the Beijing-Havana route via Madrid on May 17. Following the Cuban government's announcement of the visa exemption for Chinese citizens, searches on the travel platform Ctrip surged, as reported by Chinese media.

Another recent announcement aiming to boost tourism on the island was the implementation of a new electronic tourism visa management system, known as Evisa, which "will provide a more efficient and agile service to applicants through Cuban consular offices abroad." As of April 26, Cuba had welcomed over one million international tourists in 2024, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.

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