People in East Asia wishing to travel to Cuba have a new option: Air China has just commenced scheduled flights to the Caribbean island nation’s capital, Havana, as an extension of services CA879 and CA880 to and from Montreal, Canada, which started last September.

Somewhat surprisingly given their shared communist roots, this is the first scheduled air service between China and Cuba.

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Flights to Cuba will depart Beijing three times a week at 2pm, arriving in Havana at 8.15pm the same evening (after crossing the international date line).

Travellers thinking of heading from Hong Kong to Cuba might still prefer to fly via Toronto with Air Canada or via Paris with Air France, however, as both flights require only one stopover.