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TORONTO — A representative with Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism says Cayo Largo’s airport is ready to receive flights once again, however at least one tour operator is waiting to confirm that the repair work is sufficient for large aircraft.
Carmen Casal with Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism posted an update on Facebook on Feb. 23, saying that Cayo Largo’s airport is ready to welcome medium to large size aircraft again. “Great news! The track at Cayo Largo del Sur airport is ready to receive medium and large planes. The excursions are restored. The unique and heavenly beaches of this Cuban destination are waiting for you!” said Casal in her post.
Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana says: “We are still waiting for confirmation that the type of aircraft operated by Air Transat can land and take off safely at Cayo Largo. For the moment, we still have the date of February 26 as information.”
Word of the airport’s temporary shutdown came Feb. 19. The Canadian Embassy in Cuba confirmed the unexpected closure, attributed to runway damage, in a series of tweets. The estimated reopening date when the news first broke last week was Feb. 26.
The unexpected closure left many airlines and tour operators working hard to assist stranded travellers.
Transat clients were transferred to Batabanó via ferry and from there a coach took them to Havana’s airport. Sunwing had two flights impacted, one destined for Toronto and the other Montreal. Customers were transported by catamaran and onwards by road to Varadero, where they were accommodated in an all-inclusive resort ahead of their return flight. Sunwing customers due to arrive in Cayo Largo on Feb. 21 were offered alternate vacation options in Cuba. Hola Sun also had passengers in destination and got them home to Canada.