This is a question we often get asked in Australia as let’s face it, there are no quick get aways out of here. Wherever we go it’ll take several hours if not several hops to get there. Yet, I am glad to see that it is not a deferent for travellers to go and discover the world.
The flight option availability has somewhat changed over the past 2 and a half years. Pre-pandemic we had the challenge of not being able to fly to Cuba directly from the US. That has been eliminated in recent times. As per recent changes, you can now fly into all Cuban international airports direct from the US.
Yet, we still have some challenges to routing to this wonderful island. As I am writing this article, being September 2022, some pre-pandemic routes are still not open to get to Cuba and there are others that may not have made sense before, yet actually give you the best connections right now!
So let’s from the west side of Australia…
Travelling from Perth to Havana
Pre-pandemic, the routes have taken travellers from Perth, to Sydney/Melbourne, then onto LA with an overnight stop in Panama or Mexico City before getting into Havana. A rather arduous journey. Since the pandemic hit Qatar Airways has done an amazing job to connecting Perth based people with the world and they keep doing so.
Currently there are three easy, and quick (well as quick as it can be from Australis) options to get to Havana. It’s from Perth to Doha, then either onto Madrid or Frankfurt with Qatar Airways, then a direct flight into Havana with Iberia or Europa Air from Madrid or Condor from Frankfurt. The stopover in Doha varies between 2 hours and 23 hours, depending on which day you go. Personally I like the shorter time, in saying that the longer stop-over time allows you a little sight-seeing in Doha without having to worry about your check-in luggage, which is still brilliant.
Your connection time in Madrid is around 6 hours and in Frankfurt is 4 hours. Both are just enough to get of the plane, find your next gate and stretch your legs a little.
The third option is Perth to Singapore, then onto Paris and finally to Havana. Air France, KLM or Qantas may be the carriers for this route. Wait times are around the 6 hour mark at each stop so not too bad.
Travelling from Sydney
I have to say earlier this year, I was still telling people from the east coast that Doha route is still the best, because at that stage Canada and US routing was not available. I am glad to see that Canada is back on line and also now that you can travel directly from the US, Houston is a great option also.
From Sydney you can either go direct to Houston with United/Virgin Airlines and then into Havana or you can go Via Toronto then Vancouver then Havana with Air Canada. The most you’ll have to wait at each stop is a few hours.
Travelling from Melbourne
If you are in Melbourne the choices are a little like the above. At the moment you can either take a short hop up to Sydney to choose one of those two routes mentioned or you can hop on a Qatar airways flight also to go via Doha and Madrid.
Pre-pandemic there was a Melbourne LA route, that I do not seem to find at the moment, but that would have meant going through Houston, Mexico City or Panama still. So whether you do a hop on the front end or the back end, could make a difference to the total of your journey.
Travelling from Brisbane
You have a couple of choices from Brisbane also. You can either go from Brisbane via Toronto and Vancouver or you can head through Doha and Madrid.
Now don’t get me wrong. These routes are not the be all and end all. There are several ‘milk run options’. But if you are considering your environmental impact, better not to use them… unless of course you can make the most of it and stop over a few places for a short getaway on the way your travels.
Personally, I like to limit stops and downtime on my way to my destination, so I am simply looking at the quickest way to get to Havana from any of the given cities. Over the past few months there has been a few more routes added and we can only hope that there’ll be more options as the world re-opens. And as things happen, the people most up to date about these options are your travel agents! So get in touch with them to lock in your next Cuban Holiday.