[IMG=21269-7115]A new charter program to Cuba consolidated by Group of Companies Puteshestvyi!, Bureau South Cross, TEZ TOUR and CAPITAL TOUR will be launched on November 2nd . Before the New Year Boeing – 747 flights will be operated to Varadero once in two weeks and starting from December 28th – on a weekly basis. Besides, Aeroflot continues flying to Havana three times per week by Boeing – 767. Flights to the same destination are also operated by Lufthansa and AirFrance.
Thus, air traffic volume to Cuba will increase as last year the Boeing – 767 charter was launched only after the New Year and the frequency of flights was once in 10-11 days. Even with fewer flights the destination experienced the excess of air traffic volume after the New Year period that provoked price reduction by 100$ minimum.
Nikolay Chabrov, Head of the Caribbean Department of CAPITAL TOUR, commented on the situation as follows: ‘we do not expect an easy season. However, the growing demand for Cuba engenders optimism. We forecast increase in demand by 30-40%. Therefore, we made a decision to continue the charter program until May. We are ready for a hard start but in general forecast its successful materialization. Active sales have already started. At the moment we are satisfied with the sales depth’.
Furthermore, other experts disagree. Thus, Elena Sapilova, Head of Caribbean Department of UTE Megapolus Group, pointed out that ‘annual increase in demand for Cuba is 10-15% and this tendency will evidently repeat in season 2006-2007. However, it is not reasonable to increase a number of flights. Three scheduled flights to Havana would be enough. Moreover, the charter frequency is not convenient – two-week tours to Cuba are not popular among tourists, while one-week tours is only 5% of total Cuban sales’.
Furthermore, Andrey Konkin, Senior Manager of Cuban and Jamaican Departments of the International Travel Club, agreed: ‘tour packages for 10-12 days are the most popular. Therefore, the announced charter program is not convenient. I have no idea how a flight to Varadero will be filled as at the moment there are many alternative flights to Cuba. Apparently, they bank on the New Year period when sales profit will be at the maximum point’.
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