MIAMI —Starting on December 27, Air China will fly to Havana, Cuba three times a week. The flight will be a continuation of the current Beijing to Montreal-Trudeau route.
According to Cuban state agency Prensa Latina, the new connection will increase Chinese tourism in the region. During this year, over 20,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Cuba, who do not require visas to travel to several Caribbean countries including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Grenada and the Turks and Caicos, thus opening possibilities to local carriers to open new routes in a highly competitive market.
Trade between China and Cuba reached $1.596 billion between January and September in 2015, up 57 percent. This places China in the second place as Cuba’s largest trade partner after Venezuela.
Air China is undergoing a major international expansion, with the recent launch of flights to Mumbai, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa and Colombo. In the Americas, the carrier offers service to São Paulo, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Newark, Honolulu, Houston and Washington D.C.
The easing of travel restrictions from the United States to Cuba and the booming Canadian travel market to the island, Cuban officials forecast that 2015 will surpass the 4 million visitor record reached in 2014.