Swoop To Enter Cuban Market

Credit: Joe Pries

Varadero, a popular beach resort on Cuba’s narrow Hicacos Peninsula, will become Swoop’s first destination in the country from early 2023.

The Canadian airline will connect Toronto Pearson (YYZ) with Varadero’s Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (VRA), starting on Jan. 11, 2023. The nonstop route will operate seasonally with three round trips per week.

“Cuba tops the list for Ontarians seeking an affordable beach getaway,” said Tia McGrath, leader, distribution and sales at Swoop.

The latest schedules provided by OAG show that Varadero is already served from Toronto Pearson by Swoop’s parent WestJet—one of four airlines to provide nonstop flights. For the week commencing Aug. 29, leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines flies YYZ-VRA daily, WestJet offers 3X-weekly flights, and Air Canada and Air Transat each serve the sector 2X-weekly.

By January—when Swoop enters the market—Air Canada is scheduled to have increased frequencies to 6X-weekly, while WestJet and Air Transat will be offering four flights per week.

More On Cuba

The addition of Varadero is part of Swoop’s northern winter 2022/23 schedule that will also see the ULCC resume London International (YXU)-Cancun (CUN) flights on Dec. 3 and London-Orlando Sanford (SFB) the following day. In addition, the airline restart service to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) from both Toronto Pearson and Hamilton (YHM) on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 respectively.

“London International Airport and Swoop saw strong growth through 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 prior to the pandemic restrictions,” said Scott McFadzean, president and CEO of YXU.

At the present time, Swoop is scheduled to operate 59 routes during the forthcoming winter season, compared with 44 during winter 2021/22.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.