Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Southwest's Business Decisions Regarding Cuba Service


141208PHX_Heart_WEB016 (1).JPGSouthwest has a history of stimulating new markets by offering low-fare competition; unfortunately, stimulating sufficient demand in some of our Cuba city-pairs has been very challenging, primarily due to the ongoing prohibition in U.S. law on tourism to Cuba for American citizens.


Though Cuba was a totally unexplored commercial air service market from the U.S. during the 46+ years Southwest has been operating, we’ve been looking hard at the datareviewing and analyzing our performance in the three Cuba markets we have been serving over many months. Today, we are announcing that we will cease operations in both Varadero (VRA) and Santa Clara (SNU) at the conclusion of the summer travel season, with the final flights operating on the U.S. holiday that wraps-up Labor Day weekend.


So many Southwest Employees worked hard to put Cuba on our map and I want to thank each of them for a Herculean effort to open all three Cuba cities last year and to serve well our Customers traveling aboard those flights from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Tampa International Airport.


We still are seeking additional service to Havana and have a pending application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for an additional daily roundtrip between Ft. Lauderdale and Havana, which would bring Southwest to four roundtrips daily between Florida and the Cuban capital.


We remain committed to serving travelers who choose the value that only Southwest’s Cuba service will continue to offer our Customers traveling to and from Havana.

New Arrival

Your announcement refers to a travel ban for Americans going to Cuba.  I understand that there has been an embargo on business, which Obama eased, but to my knowledge American citizens may go where they like.  Is there newer law, in the Patriot Act or somewhere, that restricts our citizens freedom to travel where they choose?  If so, I would like to read it.


I have been to Cuba, but always via Mexico.  And there were always lots of Americans there.  I also attended a computer exposition in Cuba and they had IBM, HP, Cisco, you name it, American technology at the show but it made its way there via Mexico or Canada.  So the only effect of the embargo was to penalize small businesses in the US by denying them the opportunity to trade in Cuba like the rest of the world.

Top Contributor

Here's some current info:


There certainly are many exceptions that would allow people to visit, but with a stated purpose other than tourism.


New Arrival

 Hi, Very interested in any opening position working with Cuba. Willing to relocate to Cuba if required. Speak fluent Spanish and English. Was born in Cuba