According to a report on the matter, two airlines will be pulling out of the Cuban flight market. These will be Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines. They cited lack of demand or market overcapacity and high costs amongst the reasons for the decision.
The Two Airlines Will Be Dropping All Their Planned Routes By June
Both airlines are somewhat new on the Cuban market. They have only started flying regular routes to Cuba sometime last year. More exactly, approximately six months ago. Silver Airways will be renouncing 9 planned routes. The air carrier will be putting a stop to its regular flights to the nation by April 22nd.
Frontier Airlines, as a small regional carrier, had a single route. It flew regularly from Miami to Havana. However, it will be dropping this by June 4th. The air carrier is an ultra low-cost company. Based in Denver, Colorado, it nonetheless flies to about 60 destinations. Although most are local, Frontier also has 5 international flights.
Silver Airways is based at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The air carrier operates some 170 daily scheduled flights. It commenced operating in 2011. Presently, it operates in 20 US cities and flies to 7 destinations in the Bahamas.
The two airlines tried expanding their operations by taking a shot in Cuba. Nonetheless, they had to pull out due to certain facts. Each carrier offered its own motives for the decision. And most of them were financial ones.
Both of the two airlines presented market overcapacity as a reason for their withdrawal
Frontier and Silver both put a blame on the Cuban market overcapacity. Last year, for the first time in almost 5 decades, airlines resumed regular passenger flights to the nation. As such, the flight market now offers a wide variety of options. Passengers can fly with either big name companies or on low-cost plans.
Nonetheless, regular flight routes do come with their costs. A Frontier spokesperson drew attention to this fact. He stated that the airline determined that the costs of operating in Havana actually “exceeded the initial assumptions”.
The two airlines would have to fill a specific seat capacity in order to make a profit in such flights. But both the size of this former and the other market options became important factors. One that made it difficult to continue flying the planned routes.
A Silver spokesperson placed emphasis on the same fact. She stated that the total number of passengers is in line with the initial estimates.
However “ […] other airlines continue to serve this market with too many flights and oversized aircraft, which has led to an increase in capacity of approximately 300% […]”.
Nearly all the big US airlines and several other companies are already flying regularly to Cuba. However, some are reportedly wondering if these flights will live up to the created hype. Or more exactly, to the demand and flight costs. Reportedly, the market also still has to arrange issues like online travel agency distributions.
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