18:10 PM

Southwest Airlines announces Havana flights will begin Dec.12

(October 13, 2016) Southwest Airlines last week announced at Tampa International Airport its schedule for Tampa-to-Havana flights, as well as some exciting promotional fares. 

The daily, nonstop flights begin Monday, Dec. 12, and will depart from Tampa each day at 6:15 a.m. Flights back to Tampa will depart at either 6:05 p.m. or 11:15 p.m. To introduce the flights, Southwest is offering one-way fares of $59 when purchased through November 20 and the trip must be made before April 24, 2017.

The airline and TPA celebrated the news at a morning press conference with coffee and Cuban pastries, and TPA CEO Joe Lopano, Southwest Airlines’ Managing Director of Network Planning Adam Decaire and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor shared their excitement.

“This is a community that truly understands the importance of daily commercial service to the capital of Cuba,” said Lopano, noting that the Tampa Bay area has the nation’s third-largest Cuban-American population.I’m so thankful for the support of our community partners who wrote letters to the U.S. Department of Transportation pledging their support of commercial Cuba flights from Tampa, and also to the nearly 6,000 people who signed a petition that was submitted for the DOT’s consideration in Southwest’s request for this service.”

Lopano also thanked Rep. Castor for all of her work and passion over the past several years in making the flights from TPA possible.

“This is good news for Tampa Bay area families who want to connect with their relatives on the island of Cuba,” Rep. Castor said. “Just think it was just five years ago when a family who probably lived less than a mile from Tampa International Airport had to travel to Miami because the law only allowed flights from three airports in the country. That certainly didn’t make sense for this community.”

Since TPA began charter service to Cuba in 2011, more than 300,000 people have traveled from Tampa to the island nation. Scheduled, daily commercial service is expected to make flights easier to book, cheaper and more convenient for passengers.

To book a flight from TPA to Havana, go to www.southwest.com.