Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport

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Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport
Aeropuerto Juan Gualberto Gómez
Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport overview Idaszak.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator ECASA S.A.
Location Varadero
Elevation AMSL 64 m / 210 ft
Coordinates 23°02′04″N 81°26′07″W / 23.03444°N 81.43528°W / 23.03444; -81.43528Coordinates: 23°02′04″N 81°26′07″W / 23.03444°N 81.43528°W / 23.03444; -81.43528
Website varadero-airport.com
MUVR is located in Cuba
Location in Cuba
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,502 11,490 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Number of Passengers 1,275,000
Source: Aerodrome chart[1]

Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport (IATA: VRAICAO: MUVR), formerly known as Varadero Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Varadero), is an international airport serving Varadero, Cuba and the province of Matanzas. The airport is located closer to the city of Matanzas than to Varadero. The closest airport to Varadero is Kawama Airport. In 2009, the airport handled 1.28 million passengers,[2] making it the second busiest airport in Cuba after José Martí International Airport in Havana.


Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport was built in 1989 and inaugurated by Fidel Castro,[3] thus replacing the old Varadero airport located in Santa Marta, currently known as Kawama Airport. The airport was named after a journalist, fighter for the Cuban Independence and black rights activist in Cuba Juan Gualberto Gómez (1854–1933).

Bust of Juan Gualberto Gómez at the Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport commemorating the inauguration of the airport in 1989.

The terminal building has shops for tourists (including rum, cigars, T-shirts, books, carvings, pharmaceuticals) both before customs check point, at a large departures lounge with cafeterias on the upper level and a smaller air conditioned VIP lounge the lower level.

Immigration checkpoint consists of wood booths for push doors opened by immigration officers after travelers have been processed. Customs check point consists of three x-ray machines. Two flights of stairs and an escalator take travelers to the departure lounge. Tour operators offices are located near the domestic terminal area.

The ground handling equipment is imported mainly from North America. There are four jet bridges (serving parking areas 2 to 5), but air stairs are used for the remaining aircraft parking space #1 on the apron by the terminal.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Aerogaviota Trinidad
Aerotaxi Sancti Spiritus
Air Berlin Düsseldorf
Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel
Air Canada Seasonal: Halifax, Ottawa
Air Canada Rouge Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson
Air Europa Seasonal: Madrid
Air Transat Montréal–Trudeau
Seasonal: Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, London (ON), Moncton, Ottawa, Québec City, Regina, Saskatoon, St. John's, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino
American Airlines Miami
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna
Cubana de Aviación Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Havana, Montréal–Trudeau, Santiago de Cuba, Toronto–Pearson
operated by SunExpress Deutschland
Interjet Mexico City
Jetairfly Brussels
LOT Polish Airlines Charter: Warsaw–Chopin
Neos Seasonal charter: Milan–Malpensa
Nordwind Airlines Charter: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Servicios Aéreos Profesionales Punta Cana
Silver Airways Fort Lauderdale (begins December 2, 2016)[4]
Southwest Airlines Fort Lauderdale (begins November 13, 2016)[5]
Sunwing Airlines Calgary, Edmonton, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Bagotville, Deer Lake, Fredericton, Gander, Halifax, Hamilton, Kelowna, London (ON), Moncton, North Bay, Québec City, Regina, Saint John, Saskatoon, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Winnipeg
Thomas Cook Airlines Manchester (UK)
Seasonal: Belfast–International
Thomson Airways London–Gatwick
TUI Airlines Netherlands Amsterdam
Virgin Atlantic London–Gatwick (begins April 2, 2017)[6]
WestJet Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Calgary, London (ON)
Orbest Seasonal charter: Lisbon
XL Airways France Paris–Charles de Gaulle (begins December 19, 2016)[7]


Airlines Destinations
Fedex Express Miami (begins January 15, 2017)

Accidents and incidents[edit]

There have been five significant incidents involving aircraft from or en route to the airport since the 1950s. Only 1 flight involved resulted in fatalities. Three flights involved Cubans hijacking an aircraft to flee to the United States.

  • March 6, 2005 - Air Transat Flight 961 Airbus A310 returned safely to airport following detachment of rudder after take off.
  • December 29, 1992 - Aerocaribbean Antonov 26 was hijacked en route to Varadero Airport from Havana. The aircraft landed in Miami.[8]

Accidents and incidents that occurred at Varadero (Santa Marta) Airport (now as Kawama Airport):

  • July 3, 1961 - Cubana de Aviación Douglas DC-3 was hijacked en route to Varadero Airport from Havana. Aircraft lands in Miami.[9]
  • April 25, 1959 - Cubana de Aviación Vickers Viscount was hijacked after takeoff from the Varadero Airport and forced to land at Key West International Airport.[10]
  • November 1, 1958 - Cubana de Aviación Flight 495 Vickers Viscount 755D crashes in Nipe Bay when attempting an emergency landing at Preston Airport. Plane was en route to Varadero from Miami with 20 on board. Only 3 survived with 17 fatalities.[11]


External links[edit]

Media related to Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport at Wikimedia Commons