Hamilton International Airport welcomes return of Cuban winter flights.

Wednesday 24th August 2011

New destination of Varadero added to schedules

Hamilton International Airport will welcome the return of flights to Cuba from specialist Canadian tour operator Hola Sun Holidays this winter. Following a successful 2011 schedule the tour operator has confirmed the introduction of flights to the leisure destination of Varadero which will commence on 24 December 2011, and the reinstatement of flights to Holguin, Cuba on 12 February 2012. Both schedules will continue operations until the end of April 2012.

The weekly flight schedules are:

Varadero

Operates from 24 December 2011 to 29 April 2012Departs Saturday from Hamilton 18.00, arrives in Varadero 21.30Departs Saturday from Varadero 22.30, arrives in Hamilton 01.50

Holguin

Operates from 12 February 2012 to 23 April 2012Departs Sunday from Hamilton 15.45, arrives in Holguin 19.30Departs Sunday from Holguin 20.30; arrives in Hamilton 00.10

This is the second year that Hola Sun has chartered Boeing 737's from operator CanJet to provide winter holiday packages for the Southern Ontario region flying out of Hamilton International. Last season passengers from the entire catchment area - Windsor to Kitchener to Niagara and Oshawa - utilized Hola Sun services, and whilst much of the traffic originated locally, 25% of the Hola Sun passengers came from outside the immediate area demonstrating the growing requirements for these popular leisure routes.

"We are happy to welcome back Hola Sun and the Cuban flight schedule as they offer passengers a great sun and leisure destination at an affordable price," says Karen Medweth Director of Air Service Development and Marketing for the airport. Hamilton expects to see a rise in leisure companies using the airport as a base for their charter operations and anticipates an increase in destinations for the traveler.

"Hamilton offers the benefits of an uncongested airfield for airlines, and a quiet terminal for passengers. We are easy to get to and parking is a lot less expensive than other international airports," says Medweth talking about the airport's benefits for travelers and airlines. "The Hola Sun flights are a great match for our catchment area and the tour operator recognizes that the Hamilton experience has contributed to the success of their program. We are looking forward to supporting them again this winter and encouraging the development of other charter flights to a wider network of destinations," says Medweth.

Hola Sun provides 7 and 14 night packages with a strong focus on the family market. The tour operator celebrates 20 years in business this year and is marking the event with the introduction of a new prestige service for customers. The "Collection Prestige - Live a Unique Experience" service offers clients the opportunity to select accommodation from a portfolio of high end hotels with premium added values relating to a specific experience. Clients can choose from 11 exclusive experiences to enhance their holiday. These include Deluxe Family packages, activities such as diving, golf and yoga, along with more Cuban themed experiences such as the Havana Cigar or Show Time. Hola Sun all inclusive packages start from CAD$858 plus tax.

Jorge Felix Salazar, President of Hola Sun Holidays said, "Cuba is an increasingly popular destination for passengers in the southern Ontario area and having the opportunity to fly out of Hamilton which is user friendly, less congested and easy to reach means our clients have a great start to their holiday experience. We are delighted to be reinstating our Holguin flight and introducing the new Varadero route and expect a busy season for winter 2012."

About Hamilton International Airport:

Hamilton International Airport sits in a prime location just 52 miles from downtown Toronto and 54 miles from Niagara and the US border, giving it an extensive passenger catchment area and excellent access to Eastern Canada and US networks for cargo distribution.

Significant investment of $163m has been made into the infrastructure at Hamilton International since 1996. Projects have included an extension of Runway 06/24 to 10,000ft to accommodate wide-body aircraft up to 747-400s. CAT II ILS was installed to increase accessibility and reliability in inclement weather and the laying of asphalt overlay on two taxiways to extend their useful lives.

Hamilton International Airport is working in close conjunction with the City of Hamilton to develop a designated area of land - the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD) - which will provide 830m2 for development of hybrid prestige and light industrial businesses. Anchor tenants are likely to be those that will most benefit from the close proximity to the Airport.

www.flyhi.ca

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