Southwest Airlines of Dallas on Sunday (Nov. 13) began service between South Florida and Cuba, with aims to offer several flights per day between the two regions by the end of the year.
The new, twice daily service flies from Hollywood International airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Varadero, Cuba, located 87 miles east of Havana.
Pending approval from the Cuban government, Southwest plans to introduce daily flights to Havana from both Fort Lauderdale (twice daily) and the International Airport in Tampa, Fla., (once daily), on Dec. 12, according to the airline.
Also pending approval, Southwest also plans to begin a once daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba, on Dec. 15.
“By the end of this year, we’ll offer six daily roundtrips between two Florida gateways and three Cuban cities as the work continues to open a new, five-gate international concourse here in Fort Lauderdale next summer,” Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines’ vice president of ground operations and the airline’s executive ambassador to Florida, said in a press release.
“Our employees have worked hard to open this route and a new chapter for people who want to connect with Cuba in ways that matter most to them,” Goldberg said.
Commercial flights to Cuba from the U.S. resumed earlier this year after about five decades.