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Pretty Caribbean island with one of world’s best beaches to get new UK flights

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A PRETTY island in the Caribbean will get brand-new direct flights from the UK next month.

Two airports in the UK are set to get new flights to Cuba next month after brand-new routes were announced last week.

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Direct flights from the UK to Cuba will resume later this yearCredit: Getty
It is home to some award-winning beaches too

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It is home to some award-winning beaches tooCredit: Getty – Contributor

Last year, tour operator TUI announced it would be scrapping its direct service from Manchester to Cuba by April 2024.

Instead of flying directly to Cuba, holidaymakers from the UK would’ve had to connect onto another flight in mainland Europe or Canada.

But the UK will regain its direct flights from London Gatwick and Manchester Airport thanks to a brand-new chartered service.

According to Travel Weekly, tour operator Iron Travel will commercially manage the route, while it will be operationally managed by TripLatam.

A weekly service will depart from London Gatwick to Cayo Coco, with flights operating from May 12.

Located on an archipelago off the north coast of Cuba, Cayo Coco is home to white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Meanwhile, flights from Manchester Airport will land in Holguin, a city on the southeast side of the island.

Officially known as San Isidro de Holguin, the city is packed with squares, museums and colonial buildings.

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There’s also Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park where holidaymakers will be able to swim with dolphins.

Flights from London Gatwick to Cayo Coco will be operating from May 5, 2024.

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The Manchester Airport to Holguin route will depart five days later on May 10, 2024.

Trade sales manager Alan Meadows, from Simply Cuba, said: “It’s a positive thing for that part of Cuba, which has not seen large numbers of UK traffic since the days of Thomas Cook.”

“There has been massive investment in the smaller Cayos on the east coast, and these flights fit very well with what they are doing on that part of the island.”

Havana, the Cuban capital, is another one of the country’s must-visit destinations thanks to its diverse architecture and classic cars.

Top attractions in Havana include the Malecón, the city’s seafront promenade, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which houses the largest art collection in Cuba.

Elsewhere in Cuba there is Varadero Beach, named one of the best by TripAdvisor – here’s what Deputy Travel Editor Kara Godfrey thought when she went.

Brit holidaymakers travelling from the UK must have at least six months left on their passport to enter Cuba.

Tourists will also need to obtain a tourist card before travelling, and must show proof of onward travel.

Holidaymakers are also not allowed to travel directly from the USA to Cuba for tourism under US law.

And Cuba isn’t the only long-haul destination set to get new flights.

Other new routes

Earlier this year, Norse Atlantic Airways announced the launch of new transatlantic flights from London Gatwick.

The new route will connect the London Airport to Las Vegas.

Launching from September 12, one-way flights can be found for as little as £163, while return fares will start from just £399 in economy.

And just last week Norse Atlantic Airways revealed its brand-new route from London Gatwick.

The budget airline will soon connect the UK and Cape Town, when the new route takes to the sky later this year.

What are the passport rules?

The Sun’s Head of Travel Lisa Minot has explained exactly what Brits need to know.

“Travellers used to be able to roll over up to nine unused months from their old passport onto a new one.

“But post-Brexit, anyone wanting to travel to the EU can no longer rely on those extra months.

“In order to travel to the EU, all passports must be no more than 10 years old on the day you arrive in your European destination.

“And you’ll need at least three months on your passport on the day you head back to the UK.

“Figures have shown up to 100,000 holidaymakers a year face being turned away at airports if their passport is more than 10 years old.

“The 10-year rule only applies to countries in the European Union but every country may have different rules on what is accepted – some countries like South Africa, for example, insist you have at least six months  left on your passport when you travel and a full clear page.”

Meanwhile, this new European airline is set to launch flights this summer.

And this lesser-known airline has new flights from two UK airports.

The flights will begin operating in May

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The flights will begin operating in MayCredit: Getty

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