Russia’s Aeroflot group has announced the resumption of regular flights to Cuba after a suspension that lasted for over a year. Operated by Aeroflot’s subsidiary, Rossiya Airlines, the first scheduled flight to the Cuban resort of Varadero departed from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport early on Saturday.
Sergey Starikov, the official representative of Rossiya Airlines, revealed that the demand for tickets is extremely high, with each flight nearly 100% booked. As a result, the flights will be scheduled twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays, with an additional flight set to be added by September.
Currently, Russian low-cost carrier Nordwind operates charter flights to Cuba, flying to both Varadero and the island of Cayo Coco. The regular routes to Cuba were suspended by Russian airlines in February 2020 due to restrictions imposed by several EU states on the use of their airspace following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
However, in May 2021, Russia’s deputy prime minister for tourism, Dmitry Chernyshenko, announced plans to resume regular flights to Cuba that would avoid the airspace of “unfriendly” countries by July. Chernyshenko also stated that the number of direct charter flights to Cuba would be increased, providing citizens with a year-round opportunity for a beach holiday in a friendly country.
The resumption of flights between Russia and Cuba is significant for both countries. It reflects the strengthening of economic ties between Moscow and its Cold War ally and demonstrates Russia’s determination to reestablish connections that had been severed due to political conflicts.
The resumption of regular flights to Cuba will not only benefit the tourism industry but also contribute to the improvement of bilateral trade. Cuba, known for its scenic beauty and vibrant culture, remains a popular destination for Russian tourists. The restoration of flight routes will boost the tourism sector in both countries and generate economic growth.
For Russia, the resumption of flights to Cuba is a strategic move to expand its economic presence in the region. By strengthening ties with Cuba, Russia is securing its influence in the Caribbean and Latin American regions, countering the dominance of Western powers in the area. Cuba, on the other hand, will gain from the increased tourist inflow and economic cooperation with Russia.
The reopening of flight routes is a positive step towards normalizing relations between Russia and Western countries. The suspension of flights was a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine, which led to Western countries shutting out Russian carriers from their airspace. However, with the resumption of flights, there is hope for the gradual restoration of diplomatic and economic ties between Russia and the West.
In conclusion, the resumption of regular flights between Russia and Cuba signifies the renewed economic ties between the two countries. It not only benefits the tourism industry but also strengthens Russia’s presence in the Caribbean region. The high demand for tickets reflects the eagerness of travelers to explore the beautiful landscapes and rich culture of Cuba. The reopening of flight routes is a positive development for both Russia and Cuba, signaling a step towards normalizing relations with Western countries.