New Direct Flight Route between Cuba and Ecuador Announced
According to diplomatic sources from the Cuban government, direct flights between the capitals of Ecuador and Cuba will be restored starting on July 12 of this year, as reported by the state agency Prensa Latina.
During the initial testing phase, two weekly flights will be offered to cover the route.
During the upcoming summer, the airline company Ecuacondor will begin its operations between the two countries, offering two weekly flights on planes with a capacity of 50 passengers.
The Cuban embassy in the Andean country announced on its social media platforms that during the first stage, two planes with a capacity of 50 passengers will fly weekly to Havana.
This new connection has been established to promote tourism and strengthen ties between both countries. It is also expected to lower the costs of flying between the two countries. Previously, there was no direct flight option available.
Alondra Tour, FrinTravel, and KT Nova are travel agencies that will offer tourist packages to visit places such as Havana, Varadero, and Cayo Santa Maria. Additionally, they will also have options for health tourism, one of the proposals of the Cuban government for foreign visitors.
Founded in 2017, Ecuacondor is an airline that began its operations with domestic flights. Its operational base is located in the city of Guayaquil, as indicated on its website.
Currently, there are no direct air routes connecting Ecuador and Cuba.
In June 2008, the South American country, governed by former President Rafael Correa, decided to eliminate visa-free travel for more than 100 countries, including Cuba. This action resulted in the arrival of thousands of Cubans who used the country as a starting point to settle there or continue their journey to the United States.
In December 2015, during the migration crisis of hundreds of stranded Cubans in different parts of Central America, the Ecuadorian government decided to put an end to the visa-free policy for Cuban citizens.
Ecuacondor will fly to Cuba
On March 18, 2022, Ecuacondor submitted an application to obtain the operating permit that would allow them to offer public air transportation services, both for passengers and for cargo and mail, on regular and combined national routes.
In September of last year, it was announced that the airline had chosen to use two Bombardier CRJ-200 planes for its initial phase of operations on domestic flights.
These planes have the capacity to transport 50 passengers in a single class and can travel a distance of up to 3148 kilometers without the need to refuel.
It is unknown if the aircraft, which have been in operation for 24 years since their first flight and have belonged to various airlines, will travel the more than 2600 kilometers that separate Quito from Havana.
Cuba and Ecuador discuss migration
On Friday, March 3, the tenth round of talks on migration issues between Cuba and Ecuador took place, with the presence of authorities from both countries.
The meeting took place in Quito and was led by Ernesto Soberón Guzmán, who is the General Director of Consular Affairs and Assistance to Cuban Residents Abroad, and Ana Silvia Espíndola, who is the Vice Minister of Human Mobility at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador.
During the year 2021, it was known that 67% of individuals who obtained Ecuadorian citizenship were of Cuban origin.
During the first nine months of 2021, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that 630 naturalization processes were carried out, which represents a significant increase compared to the 262 registered in 2020. It is possible that the difference in the data is due to the pandemic shutdown.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of Cubans who have naturalized in Ecuador. Over a four-year period, from January 2017 to January 2021, a total of 1066 Cuban immigrants have obtained Ecuadorian citizenship.