Cubana de Aviación has announced that it will stop flying to seven destinations. This move has come as a result of the increased pressure on Cuba from the United States.
Earlier this week, the US government suspended operations to nine destinations in Cuba. The White House claims that his move was to stop the flow of money to Cuba’s government. The state has been criticized for its support for disputed Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro.
Many members of the international community don’t recognize the politician as the official head of Venezuela amid civil tensions in his country. However, the US claims that Cuba has supported Maduro despite reports of oppression.
With the exception of Havana, the rest of Cuba’s cities are now cut off from the US. On Cuba News reports that this has already had a huge impact on operations. Subsequently, Cubana has had two aircraft lease contracts terminated due to the embargo according to the airline’s deputy director Arsenio Arocha Elías-Moisés.
The director didn’t share who the third-country firms were, but this move has forced his company to cancel several of its services. These locations are all based around the Caribbean Sea. The seven destinations are Caracas, Cancun, Fort-de-France, Mexico City, Pointe-à-Pitre, Port-au-Prince, and Santo Domingo.
Cubana confirmed that the suspended operations will impact around 400,000 people. Furthermore, the airline had stated that the sanctions will cause huge indirect economic damages. Furthermore, the businessman also confirmed that his company will refund the total value of the tickets to affected customers that were set to travel on flights to these destinations.
Despite the problems, the Cuban flag carrier is already assessing suitable solutions to relaunch the canceled services. This is not the first time that the state-owned airline has suffered as a consequence of hostile US-Cuba relations. The airline was greatly implicated during tensions between the two countries during the Cold War. There were multiple hijackings on Cubana flights during this sensitive period.
However, the relationship between the two countries began to warm from 2014, when the US opened up a dialogue. Thereafter, in 2016, Barack Obama became the first president to set foot on Cuban soil since 1928. It also became easier for US citizens to travel to the island with new operations serving its cities. This calm period didn’t last for long, as the current administration decided to reverse its predecessor’s policy.
Nonetheless, Cubana will be hoping that a solution can be implemented soon so effective air travel can remain open for its passengers.
Simple Flying reached out to Cubana for comment on the news but did not hear back before publication. We will update this article with any further announcements.
What do you think of the suspension of these seven Cubana destinations? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.