Alternative routes flagged as Tui drops service to Cuba

Tui has confirmed it will drop its direct service from Manchester to Varadero in Cuba next year.

The service was the only direct option to Cuba from the UK but will cease at the end of April 2024.

Winter 2023 flights to Cuba will still operate as planned.

A spokesperson for Tui UK & Ireland said: “We regularly review our flying programme and as a result we will no longer operate to Cuba for summer 2024.

“Those customers who have booked will be contacted directly and offered a fee-free change to another long-haul destination with a 10% rebooking incentive or a full refund.”

Matthew O’Sullivan, director of specialist operator Captivating Cuba, issued a statement to “reassure travel agent colleagues and customers that travel to Cuba remains easy and attractive using a range of convenient alternative flight options”.

He said Tui was always its “least used” airline to Cuba, so most customers have not been affected.

“Since being notified of Tui ceasing the Varadero route some weeks ago, we have already rebooked customers impacted on alternative routes,” he said.

“It’s important to stress that there are still plenty of competitively priced flights to Cuba with decent connection times and upgrade options.”

He pointed to indirect links with carriers such as Air France, Condor, Air Europa and Iberia, which codeshares with British Airways.

Beyond Europe, he flagged up Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet which serve a range of Cuban airports via Canada.

“We continue to receive an increasing steady flow of bookings for two-centre holidays with Cuba paired with destinations that offer UK direct flights such as Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas,” he added.

“Open-jaw flights work very well with these destinations, requiring a flight change in only one direction.

“We’ve worked solely with Cuba for more than 25 years as a dedicated specialist and have seen many UK airlines and travel companies come and go, but travel demand for the island always remains high and enthusiasm from our customers hasn’t wavered. It’s business as usual.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.