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News > Latin America

Cuba and Russia Resume Direct Flights

  • A plane of the Russian company Nordwind.

    A plane of the Russian company Nordwind. | Photo: Twitter/ @CampeonCubaIU

Published 6 October 2022

International tourism has become Cuba's second main source of foreign exchange earnings.

On Wednesday, the Varadero airport in Cuba received a flight from Russia, the first one since the European Union (EU) banned Russian planes from entering its airspace in February.


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The charter of the Russian airline Nordwind Airlines landed at the aerodrome of the main tourist hub of the Caribbean country after a 13-hour flight. This Russian airline will also fly three times a week to the tourist center of Cayo Coco, an islet located in the central zone of Cuba.

In September, Cuban Tourism Minister Juan Carlos Garcia paid a visit to Moscow where he declared that the conditions were created so that Russian airlines and tourists could visit the island again.

In the first half of this year, over 52,000 Russian tourists visited Cuba. Authorities estimate that tourism from that country increased by 40 percent until the end of August.

In Cuba, tourism has become the second main source of foreign exchange earnings and the second most important sector of the gross domestic product (GDP)

In 2021, Russia was the main issuing country of visitors to the Caribbean island, despite the decrease in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In that year, the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) estimates that Cuba received 146,155 Russians, 68,944 Canadians, and 52,804 Cubans residing abroad.

Local authorities expect 2.5 million foreign tourists to arrive in their country in 2022. During the first semester, 682,297 international travelers visited Cuba, a country that receives some 400 weekly flights operated by 45 foreign airlines.

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