High demand for flights from Miami to Cuba after reopening of its borders

The flights to Cuba that departed this Monday from Miami loaded with passengers, the first day that the Caribbean island opened its doors to international tourism after the closure of its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The counters of the Miami International Airport (MIA) were crowded on Monday with travelers flying to Cuba and who will no longer have to undergo a strict quarantine or show various COVID-19 tests with a negative result, as established by the government of the island.

Starting Monday, a vaccination test or a negative test done in the last 72 hours will suffice, a circumstance that has aroused a high demand for flights to Cuba.

Many of the travelers confessed to Miami media to have paid up to $ 1,800 for a journey of about 45 minutes and ask to increase the flights that connect the United States with the island; flights that, to a large extent, are occupied by Cuban-born immigrants who bring medicine and food to their families.

“It is a whole business, they are making money with the need of the Cuban people and it is an abuse,” said José Luis Hernández in statements to Univision 23 Miami, from Terminal F of the MIA.

Local news footage showed passengers carrying large plastic-wrapped bundles filled with groceries, clothing, toiletries and other essentials, they said.

The almost total opening to international tourism was not without setbacks and unforeseen cancellations, as happened to Idelsy González.

After passing the controls at the airport in Miami, the woman, along with other passengers bound for Cuba on a flight with a stopover in the Bahamas, were disembarked from the plane and without a new travel date on the horizon, as she said, visibly upsetting the channel. from Telemundo 51 in Miami.

“We claim our rights. Tomorrow I may come and we won’t fly either, ”the woman lamented.

Beside him, a man who identified himself as Ramón and who said he had a heart condition and had an operated leg, showed his disappointment after coming from Michigan and paying $ 1,200 for his ticket, was taken off the aircraft for alleged technical failures .

“I have made a huge sacrifice to see my daughter,” he told the television station.

It is estimated that as of this Monday, 147 flights from the United States will arrive in different Cuban cities, where the largest community of Cuban emigrants abroad resides; of that number, 77 will land at the José Martí International Airport in Havana.

The reopening of Cuba to international tourism coincides with the celebration of a peaceful march on the island, which the Cuban regime wanted to avoid with the militarization of the country and acts of repudiation.

It also occurs at a time when the celebrations for the 502 anniversary of Havana and the return to the classrooms of primary school students take place.

The process of de-escalation of the most restrictive measures applied in the country by the coronavirus is attributed by the Cuban authorities to the massive vaccination program against COVID-19, which provides for the immunization of 90% of the Cuban population by the end of the month.

This story was originally published on November 15, 2021 9:06 pm.

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