Silver Airways permitted by U.S DOT to start flights between Florida and Cuba from September
Silver Airways has been given permission from the U.S Department of Transportation to operate flights between South Florida and Cuba. The small air carrier will commence flights to the Caribbean island from 1st September, 2016 to Cuban destinations including Varadero, Santa Clara, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Camaguey, Cienfuego, Holguin, Manzanillo and Santiago.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted permission for Silver Airways to operate new flights between Florida in the United States and nine destinations in Cuba. The new schedule to the Caribbean island will start on 1st September, 2016. The small air carrier usually serves destinations in Florida and the Bahamas, but from this autumn, it will be able to offer services to Cuba’s sunny destinations including Santa Clara, Camagüey, Cienfuego, Holguín, Santiago, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Cayo Largo, and Manzanillo.
Silver Airways’ executive vice president of commercial and chief financial officer, Jason Bewley, explained that the company is now waiting for the Cuban authorities to formally authorise the dates for the U.S. flights, but it is already selling flights to customers on its website. Mr Bewley said that even if Cuba’s government increase taxes on the flights, they will still honour the fares they are selling.
Return flights to Santa Clara from Florida, for example, will depart on 8th September, 2016 and return a week later, and start from $313. The Santa Clara flights will operate three times a week from Fort Lauderdale in September, and daily from 13th October. The services to the other eight destinations in Cuba will commence between 13th October and 16th December, and will range from daily to weekly, depending on the route.
Silver Airways is still waiting for approval from the Department of Transport for its service to Havana from airports in West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Key West, and Jacksonville. There are fears that if Silver does not get Havana, it will weaken its secondary cities and for some routes, the operation might not be economically viable. The airline wants to offer the best choices of flights to Cuba for travellers from Florida.
The air carrier’s flights to Cuba will be operated on 22 Saab 340B Plus turbo-prop aircraft with 34 seats. Owned by the Chicago-based Victory park Capital Advisors LLC, Silver Airways is a leading regional airline that operates approximately 170 daily flights to 20 cities within U.S, as well as seven airports in the Bahamas, which is located about 50 miles from the coast of Florida.
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