American travel to Cuba is still highly restricted even after recently announced steps towards normalization of relations between the two countries
For most travelers in the US, the only way to visit Cuba is a lengthy, expensive, indirect trip via a third country, such as Canada, Mexico or various Caribbean destinations.
From a typical US origin, the best indirect option is via Cancun for a total of just over $700 round trip.
Direct round trip flights from Miami to Havana, restricted to licensed travelers only, are currently priced from $500+ round trip, though data is sparse
Although the US Congress is unlikely to lift the travel embargo in the near future, we predict that doing so would cut the typical cost of visiting Cuba almost in half, to about $375 round trip, based on current prices to nearby destinations.
Figure 1: Map of Cuba and the vicinity, showing Havana (HAV) and Varadero (VRA), the two largest Cuban airports along with major destinations and possible transit points nearby.
|City||Country||Good deal price||Distance (miles)||Hopper Guide|
|Santo Domingo||Dominican Republic||$517||881||SDQ-HAV|
Table 1: Cheapest nonstop routes to Cuba. Canada is a major transit point, with relatively cheap options given the distance from Cuba. Several options under $400 are available much closer to Cuba.
To estimate how much direct flights from the US to Cuba might cost if the travel embargo was lifted, we looked at the typical round-trip cost from the US to nearby destinations (Table 3), as well as specifically from Miami (Table 4).
|Airport||City||Country||Good deal price from US|
Table 3: Round-trip cost from a typical US origin to destinations near Cuba. The weighted average price-point is $386.
|Airport||City||Country||Good deal price||Distance from Miami (miles)|
Table 4: Round-trip cost and distance from Miami to destinations near Cuba, ranked by distance from Miami. The demand-weighted average price-point (ignoring distance) is $350, so a target price somewhat below that seems reasonable.
The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes billions of trips per day. Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.