First nonstop flight from RSW to Cuba takes off

Author: stephanie susskind and carolyn brewster
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- It was a historic day for Southwest Florida. The first nonstop flight from Southwest Florida International Airport departed for Havana, Cuba.

“I’m so happy, very happy,” said Dolores Uria.

Uria lives in Cape Coral but her husband lives in Cuba. She says she drives to Miami to take a flight to Havana. But not anymore. She says she’s incredibly thankful for the brand new service out of RSW.

“It’s close to my house, it’s more available. Fantastic for me,” she said.

Uria was one of many who arrived to Southwest Florida International Airport hours before the flight departed on Monday. Many even arrived at 7:30 AM, six hours before the flight left. Passengers aren’t the only people excited. Airline officials say this is huge for the area and an entire country hoping tourism can take off.

“We’re excited. A new day in history, another service we can provide to bridge out two countries closer together,” said Choice Aire CEO, Danny Looney.

Round trip airfare costs about $450 each.

Choice Aire will operate two weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays on a Swift Air 737 with 126 seats.

This is the first time RSW will have nonstop service to Cuba. The flights leave Southwest Florida at 2:15 p.m. and arrive in Cuba around 3:30 p.m.

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