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KLM starts operating Cuba flights to Havana

Starting this Monday 31st October 2011, KLM has begun offering thrice weekly flights to Cuba's capital city of Havana, as revealed by the Cuban Ministry of Tourism. Today KLM's first Cuba flight will be departing from Amsterdam and arriving to Havana.

KLM starts operating Cuba flights to Havana

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched today its first Cuba flight to Havana and over the next week a couple of more flights to Havana are to follow. Hoping to extend its portfolio of holiday destinations, the Amsterdam-based airline has opened a new tourism link for Dutch, German, Scandinavian and Eastern European travellers looking to enjoy Cuba holidays.

Starting this Monday, 31st October 2011, the Dutch airline will be operating flights to Cuba's capital with three-times-a-week departures from the carrier's home base in Amsterdam, as revealed by Cuba's Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR).

KLM's new flights to Havana will be departing from Amsterdam on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and will be serviced aboard MD11 aircraft with capacity for a total of 285 passengers. The planes flying to Cuba will provide 261 economy class seats and 24 business class seats.

"These flights will help to increase visitor arrivals from Scandinavia, Russia, other Eastern European countries, Germany, UK and Holland," said a statement from MINTUR, according to the National Information Agency

The new Cuba flights to Havana are said to be part of a “marked expansion” for the airline in the Caribbean holidays market, according to the words of KLM President and CEO Peter Hartman in a press release earlier this year. KLM’s target customers will be not only Dutch tourists, but also travellers from other European countries attracted by the idea of spending holidays in Cuba, Hartman added.

According to MINTUR, in addition to tourists from the Netherlands, the new KLM connection is expected to bring in more holidaymakers from other European nations.

 Capitolio Nacional, Havana, Cuba
Image by: stephenk1977, on Flickr

Holland is the ninth largest source of tourists sending travellers to holidays to Cuba and according to official figures, from January to September this year more than 24,000 Dutch holidaymakers have visited the nation.

Cuba expects to receive this year a record figure of 2.7 million tourists . Tourism is the second most important income contributing to the economy of the island, after the sale of professional services, primarily physicians.

 Cuba - Holguin
Image by: Ulysse2001, on Flickr

According to the Ministry of Tourism's official website, 17 international companies currently operate flights to Cuba, including Virgin Atlantic, Air-France, Iberia, Air-Europe, American Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, United Airlines, Martinair, Continental Airlines and Air Transat.

Besides offering new possibilities for Cuba holidays for Dutch travellers, the new KLM flight connection to Cuba is expected to connect more European travellers to the island and send more visitors from Scandinavia, Germany and Eastern Europe.

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