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Some US airlines reducing flights to Cuba

Published:Thursday | December 29, 2016 | 10:57 AM

Some airlines in the United States are reducing flights to Cuba, with Silver Airways planning to trim its flight schedule to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country early in the new year.

Travel Weekly said on Wednesday that Silver Airways has become the second US airline to reduce the frequency of flights to Cuba.

Between January and February, Silver Airways – which flies out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida – plans to reduce the number of flights on six of its nine destinations to Cuba, according to the Miami Herald.

The frequency of flights from FLL to Camagüey, Cuba will be reduced from five weekly trips to three; to Cayo Coco, Cuba from three weekly flights to two; to Holguín, to three per week instead of one daily flight; to Manzanillo, from three weekly flights to two; and to Varadero, Silver will trim its four weekly flights to three.

Flights to Santiago, Cuba will also be reduced in February from one daily flight to three per week, the Herald said.

“As with all of our network and all airlines, seasonal schedule adjustments are common to best match demand,” said Silver Airways in a statement. “We are pleased with bookings thus far particularly given that many major online travel agents have yet to begin selling US carrier flights to Cuba.

“As codeshare connections and other distribution channels begin to open to Cuba, we will reassess individual route frequencies at that time,” the statement added.

Silver Airways, which does not offer flights to Havana, Cuba began regular flights to the island in September.

The Silver Airways flights reduction follows American Airlines (AA), which announced in November that it would cut nearly a quarter of its flights to Cuba early next year due to poor demand.

American Airlines, the US carrier with most flights to Cuba, had scheduled five daily flights to Havana and 56 weekly flights to other Cuban cities. But just over a month into operation, many of the flights were going half empty.