By Newswire | November 14, 2016
|Varadero, Cuba // Photo by Joe Pike|
Southwest Airlines Co. has inaugurated service between South Florida and Cuba with the scheduled 11:00 a.m. departure of Southwest flight no. 3914 to Varadero (VRA) from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
Roughly 140 passengers and a crew of five Southwest employees donned Cuban-style hats as the aircraft departed to an orchestra playing Caribbean music and a drumroll by popular bandleader Tito Puente, Jr.
Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines’ vice president of ground operations, also announced that Southwest intends to begin once daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba (SNU) on Thursday, December 15, subject to requisite approvals of the Cuban government.
“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,” he said in a written statement.
On October 13, Southwest announced its flight schedule of new nonstop service between Florida and both Varadero and Havana. Cuba is the ninth country served by Southwest, with Havana marking a historic 100th destination. Service between Havana (HAV) and both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Tampa International Airport (TPA) begins Dec. 12, subject to requisite approvals of the Cuban government.
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