MEXICO CITY — On Thursday July 14, Mexican budget carrier Interjet began operations from Mexico City to Santa Clara, Cuba, the airline’s third destination to the island and its fifteenth international one.
The twice-weekly service flight will be on Thursdays and Sundays, departing Mexico City (MEX) at 13:30, and arriving to Santa Clara (SNU) at 17:15. Return flights depart SNU at 18:05, and arrives to Mexico City at 20:05, all local times.
The Interjet experience to Santa Clara
We arrived to the airline counter at 11:00 sharp, ready to check-in our flight. Passengers were visibly enthusiastic about the new destination, with a surprisingly high load for Interjet’s Sukhoi SuperJet SSJ100, the aircraft selected to start the route.
Boarding was called minutes before 13:00 at Gate 21 of Terminal 1, right after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by airline and airport authorities, as well as representatives from Cuba’s embassy to Mexico and the crew operating the maiden voyage.
“We expanded our service to Santa Clara because Cuba is a favorite destination for Mexico. This represents out third route to the island with Havana and Varadero. We now offer 76 weekly flights between Mexico and the Caribbean island, equivalent to 10,260 seats per week” said José Luis Garza, Interjet’s General Director during the announcement of the new route last June.
The SSJ100 deployed in the route today was one of the latest incorporation to Interjet’s fleet (XA-DAS • MSN 95072) delivered last March. On board, the airliner offers 93 seats arranged in a single-class cabin configuration, and offers some unique features such as women-only restroom, as well as a live video feed from the cockpit—one of the features that passengers love the most and a sweet treat for Avgeeks like us.
Once underway, Gabriela Jimenez, Institutional Relations Director for Interjet, presented passengers with branded hats, and draw a raffle during flight for two free round-trip tickets.
Despite starting as a low cost carrier (LCC), Interjet’s in-flight complimentary service offers beverages and bags of chips from the PepsiCo and Sabritas portfolios. Cookies and granola bars are offered during morning flights.
After a two-hour and 40 minute flight, we touched down at Abel Santa Maria Airport, serving Santa Clara. Airport authorities greeted us with the traditional water salute.
Enrique Martinez y Martinez, ambassador of Mexico to Cuba greeted us on the tarmac and highlighted Interjet’s share in the Cuban market and its commitment to increase connections between both countries. He also assured this route to Santa Clara will increase both Mexican and international tourism to the region, as well as bilateral economic exchange.
Santa Clara might be one of the most unknown destinations in Cuba, but it is also one of the most interesting. It’s located roughly 168 miles from the island’s center, Havana. The city with a colonial past makes the place an incredible destination for adventurers looking for something different from the traditional touristic routes.