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Posted May 13, 2008 by publisher in US Tourism to Cuba

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More options to the sun, those generous Sunwing Airlines inflight inclusions, and even more departure points from Canada: winter 2008-09 is already shaping up as a banner season for Sunwing Vacations.

In all, Sunwing will be flying to 30 sunny spots in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and the U.S. With the addition of six new gateways, the company will be flying from 25 cities across the country.

As part of the company’s philosophy of “bringing the plane to your door,” Sunwing has added even more mid-sized centres to its list of gateways. The sun has come just a little closer to Kelowna, BC (with flights to Cancun and the Riviera Maya); Windsor (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Varadero, Cuba); Hamilton (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Varadero); Kitchener (Cancun and the Riviera Maya as well as Jamaica); Sault Ste. Marie (Varadero) and Val d’Or, Quebec (Varadero).

There are also a host of new routes as well. Las Vegas has been added from Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Montreal is adding Florida. Jamaica will now be served from Ottawa and Quebec City. And Manitobans will enjoy a host of new options to escape winter with new destinations served from Winnipeg to Mexico (Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta), Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and Camaguay in Cuba.

“And our hotels are hand-picked for the Canadian market,” says Daryl McWilliams, vice-president of sales and marketing at Sunwing. “Whether you’re looking for a family vacation and you’re on a tight budget – or you’re on your honeymoon and the sky’s the limit, we guarantee there’s a Sunwing package perfect for your needs.”

Reservations are now open for all of Sunwing’s holidays and flights for next winter.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 13, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I that cruise ship companies cannot dock in the US for six months after docking in Cuba due to the 45+ year old failed Plan A Embargo so wouldn’t this apply for Sunwing too?

    If a Sunwing plane lands in Cuba, is it banned from landing in the US for six months?

    Does this apply to the entire airline or just to the airplane itself. Or, does this rule not apply to airlines?

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  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 14, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    why limit to sunwing.  Air Canada and Westjet are scheduled carriers that fly both to Cuba, as well as USA.  Many European carriers, both charter and scheduled carriers fly both to Cuba and the USA. 
    If it refers only to the specific plane, tehn Sunwing would be more prone to be affected though - think they only have 6 planes in their fleet.
    Btw, love flying Sunwing - used them for 3 of my 4 trips to Cuba (used Cubana on the other one).

  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 14, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Great. This is nothing against Sunwing but more towards the stupid Embargo.

    Royal Caribbean bought Pullmantur out of Spain and now Pullmantur cannot sail into Havana anymore.

    Just wondering if this restriction applies to airlines.

    Probably a selective restriction like most of the other Cuba sanctions.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on May 14, 2008 by arteest with 103 total posts

    As an aside, Iceland was reprimanded last year for using their American made aircraft to fly to Cuba. They have complied but I don’t remember how that was accomplished.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on May 15, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    maybe thats why Sunwing uses Airbuses (and the time I flew with Cubana it was also an Airbus).  When I flew with Cubana I was surprised that they did fly over American airspace, was kind of expecting a wide detour over theh Atlantic.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on May 15, 2008 by arteest with 103 total posts

    My flights to Cuba on Air Canada have been on Embraer (Brazil) airliners. Nice planes.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on May 16, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    if you mean the E-90, yes its a really nice plane.  Flew on Air Canada inside Canada a few times on one.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on May 19, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Just found this article too:

    Sunwing to run sun charters from John C. Munro airport

    The Hamilton Spectator

    Sunwing Airlines is the latest charter service to be added to the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport roster.

    From mid-December until next April, the Canadian vacation company will be running flights to Varadero, Cuba on Tuesdays and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on Saturdays.

    “Right from the beginning, we’ve been known for serving mid-sized Canadian cities as well as the largest ones” Daryl McWilliams, vice-president of sales and marketing at Sunwing, said in a statement. “Hamilton suits our expansion plans perfectly, given the population size, demographics and excellent travel agent community.”

    Sunwing operates out of 25 Canadian and two Florida airports to a variety of domestic and international destinations offering all-inclusive packages. It will fly one of its own planes, a Boeing 737, out of Hamilton.

    Sunwing was listed by Profit Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada the past two years.

    Steve Howse, director of communications for the airport, said it has been looking for a company to offer flights to Cuba to meet market demand.

    “The big reason for Sunwing to come here is that we are a lower cost airport,” said Howse.

    “They also want access to this marketplace with about 3.2 million people.”

    Other travel companies running passenger flights out of the airport include Transat Vacations, Sunquest, Flyglobespan, Air Canada and WestJet.

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  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 04, 2009 by Mike

    Sunwing never had any Airbus equipment. They use the Boeing 737-800

  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 04, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    I know that the U.S. won’t let let planes coming from Cuba land in the U.S. On a trip 3 or 4 years ago, on my return from Cuba to Canada on an Air Transat Canadian air carrier (on an Airbuss) I boarded in Holguin and we took off to pick up some passangers in Santiago. It was real windy on the Santiago approach and we landed very hard. Passengers boarded and we took off again. In a little bit the Pilot came on the com and said we would have to fly at low altitude and speed because the landing gear wouldn’t retract. The pilot said he was going to request an emergency landing in Miami or Fort Lauterdale. He came on again and said that we were refused permission to land in the U.S.. He turned back and we flew over Veradero at low altitude as they tried to see with search lights what was up with the landing gear. They could see nothing. The pilot said that we would have to try to land at Veradero. Thankfully we landed O,K. After we deplaned they inspected the plane and told us that they found a sheared off pin on the gear. I think the Americans schould have let us land under these circumstances don’t you think?

  11. Follow up post #11 added on April 05, 2009 by Marek with 49 total posts

    The comments here - the examples of Iceland, Royal Caribbean - are real-world examples showing how the “embargo” is really a blockade. It’s more than just the U.S. “not trading” with Cuba. Those who go on about how Cuba can trade with every other country in the world are being dishonest by not recognizing the far-reaching effect of the Helms Burton Act and the Torricelli Act.

    Thankfully, I’m a Canadian - *my* government respects my freedom to travel. And since I have no desire to set foot on U.S. soil (I route all of my flights to avoid U.S. airports), I have little to worry about.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on April 06, 2009 by Cubana with 282 total posts

    Here’s another example of how far-reaching the embargo is:


    Canadian denied U.S. fortune dies at 108 in Cuba

    HAVANA (Reuters) - A Canadian widow living in Cuba whose fortune was trapped in a Boston bank by the U.S. trade embargo died on Friday at the age of 108 without having ever gotten her money.

    Mary McCarthy died in her rundown Havana mansion after failing to get treatment for respiratory problems due to a shortage of cash, according to godson and heir Elio Garcia.

    “She had been suffering the embargo for 50 years,” he told Reuters.

    McCarthy, born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1900, moved to Cuba in 1924 when she married her husband, a wealthy Havana-based Spanish businessman whom she had met at the Boston Opera.

    She soon became a member of Cuba’s high society, co-founding the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra and an orphanage for boys.

    Her husband died in 1951, but she stayed in Cuba, even after the 1959 revolution when Fidel Castro took power and all the neighbours in her wealthy neighbourhood fled to the United States.

    She was not able to touch the money her husband left her after the United States imposed a trade embargo against Cuba in 1962, and had lived in near poverty for years.

    In 2007, after a Canadian diplomat intervened, the U.S. government allowed her to withdraw $96 (65 pound) a month from the bank in Boston.

    Garcia said McCarthy had to postpone treatment for respiratory problems when the United States did not transfer extra money allowed for medical purposes in time, and she died.

    “People should not have to pay for the political circumstances. This is a problem between two governments,” he said of the embargo.

    She died early on Friday morning and in the afternoon, two dozen friends gathered in her home, where a candle burnt atop the old Steinway piano where she had given music lessons.

    They accompanied her humble coffin, wrapped in gray cloth, in a funeral procession to Columbus Cemetery, where she was buried next to her husband.

    “Mary McCarthy was perhaps the best welder of the friendship between the people of Cuba and Canada,” Canadian consul Mark Burger told the gathering.

    She would have been 109 on April 27.

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