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Two Low-Cost Carriers Bow out of Cuba

Frontier and Silver Airlines announce an end to service to island nation.

Two low-cost carriers have announced their intentions to end service to Cuba after lower-than-expected sales and oversaturation on flights to the once-embargoed nation. USA Today reports that both Frontier Airlines and Silver Airlines will end all of their flights to Cuba by June 2017.

For Frontier, seat capacity to Havana was the reason for their ultimate cancellation. Citing the number of airlines flying between South Florida and Cuba, Frontier announced to USA Today the cost of operating to the island “exceeded [their] initial assumptions.” As a result, the low-cost carrier will end their service between Miami and Havana on June 4.

When bidding for routes to Cuba was opened by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Florida-based carrier Silver won the right to serve nine cities in the new market, the most of any domestic carrier. However, the smaller regional carrier only served Cuba’s secondary airports from Fort Lauderdale with 34-seat Saab 340B aircraft and had no rights to fly into Havana. Other competitors in the marketplace, including Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, were able to serve the capital with 150-seat aircraft. Service aboard Silver will ultimately end on April 22.

“While the actual total number of passengers currently traveling to and from Cuba on all carriers combined is in line with what Silver originally projected, other airlines continue to serve this market with too many flights and oversized aircraft,” Silver spokeswoman Misty Pinson told USA Today. “Which has led to an increase in capacity of approximately 300 percent between the U.S. and Cuba.”

Other airlines have also reduced service to Cuba after launching routes in 2016. Among them, American Airlines announced they would cut a percentage of flights between the two countries, citing political uncertainty after the election.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
edgewood49 March 17, 2017

what about this post that surprises anyone ? If one has been to Cuba there is the instant wow, old cars, etc. then it all wears off. I was there when it was still "closed" can only imagine what it's like today. Problem is the lack of infrastructure as quint as it is still at some point people are going to want more and that takes time and money along with a more open society. Don't get me wrong the people of Cuba are extremely nice and gentle people, but then the Americans have arrived.

sky303 March 16, 2017

LOL at Silver being low-cost. Silver is far from it, buddy.