The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has registered interest in the growth of Cuban tourism, referring to it in one of their most recent publications which dealt with nations who are increasing management capacity in what is referred to as the “smokeless” industry.

Despite numerous economic problems and armed conflicts in the world, the international body heralded future benefits for airlines, an indication that tourism growth seems inevitable.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has registered interest in the growth of Cuban tourism, referring to it in one of their most recent publications which dealt with nations who are increasing management capacity in what is referred to as the “smokeless” industry.Their report forecasts that passenger numbers will double between 2015 and 2034 and is considered by analysts to be a stimulant for the travel industry, although it does also inform of a slight slowdown in air travel because of China’s economic problems.

The IATA expects that air routes destined for the greatest growth over the next two decades will be those bound for Asia, South America and Africa, and that travel to both Cuba and Iran; nations with tourism and business openings, have real growth potential.

The Association’s report also points to the likelihood that air passenger numbers will rise from the 2014 figure of 3.5 billion to 7 billion in 2034, a rise of 1.4% per annum, less than the 4.1% forecast in their previous report.

The IATA considers that in spite of the economic slowdown in China, the Asiatic giant should overtake the U.S. as the country with the greatest number of air passengers and will hold its position as the market with he greatest growth in absolute terms with an expected rise from 758 million in 2014 to 1,190 million by 2034.

MORE IBERIA FLIGHTS TO HAVANA

The Spanish airline Iberia has announced an increase in the number of flights to Havana from December 1, just six months after it resumed operating 278 passenger Airbus A330/300 aircraft on the route.

Henceforth, Iberia will have six flights per week to the Cuban capital, offering more Business and Economy Class seats with a schedule that facilitates connections to 90 European, Middle Eastern and African destinations.

This means that Iberia will land in Cuba every day except Thursday.

Iberia is the leading company with routes connecting Europe and Latin America, and flies to more than 120 destinations in 46 European, American, African and Middle Eastern nations.

COPA AIRLINES: 20 YEARS IN CUBA

Having operated in Cuba for more than 20 years, Copa Airlines will start operating seven daily flights between Panama City and Havana, having scheduled last November two such flights from the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, allowing tourists direct access to the Villa Clara province and surrounding leisure destinations.

In celebration of their twenty years in Cuba, Copa’s executive president Pedro Heilbron said that since starting in Cuba in 1995 with three flights per week the company had grown, with its hub now in Tocumen.

The airport, located 24km from Panama City, is referred to as the “Hub of the Americas”, with Copa connecting to 74 destinations in 31 regional countries. Heilbron said that a large number of the passengers that travel to Cuba with the airline are tourists from Panama and all over South and Central America.

The executive added that Copa is considering even more frequent flights in addition to those already announced.

Speaking at the anniversary celebrations, Cuban Civil Aviation Institute president, Alfredo Cordero expressed his thanks to Copa for their years of uninterrupted service to the country and operations characterized by high degrees of professionalism, safety and punctuality.

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