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Canadian travellers seek way off Cuban island after unexpected airport closure

Last Updated Feb 19, 2020 at 1:12 pm EDT

Being stuck on a tropical island sounds like a lot of fun, until it actually happens.

That’s the situation some Canadian travellers are dealing with after the unexpected closure of the airport in Cayo Largo — a small resort island in Cuba.

The Canadian embassy in Cuba confirmed the airport closure, advising travellers to discuss departure options with their tour companies.

“Travel to/from the island has been disrupted. Canadians should contact their tour agency for transport by sea to the mainland,” the embassy tweeted.

The airport is expected to remain closed until Feb. 26.

Air Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana said the closure was prompted after the airport’s runway was damaged. It’s not clear how the damage occurred.

Cabana said Air Transat is working with Cuban authorities to “put in place a plan to bring our clients home.”

“Our clients will be transferred to the city of Batabanó on board a ferry that can accommodate up to 300 passengers,” she said. “From Batabanó, a coach will take them to the Havana airport. A Transat representative will accompany them throughout the journey.”