TORONTO -- Canadian travellers stranded on a small island off Cuba due to the sudden closure of the local airport have returned to Toronto.

The embassy of Canada in Cuba tweeted Tuesday that the airport on Cayo Largo del Sur was closed and wouldn’t reopen until February 26. 

Canadian Air Transat passengers who were scheduled to depart on February 16 were flown out Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The customers were transferred by ferry to the city of Batabano, before a coach took them to Havana’s airport.

“Due to a damaged runway at Cayo Largo airport, we had to work with the Cuban authorities to put in place a plan to bring our clients home,” Air Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana told

“We have two other groups who are currently on vacation at Cayo Largo and who will get back home as planned by the end of the week.

“These vacationers are not in a precarious situation, they are currently enjoying their stay and will return to Canada in the same way as the passengers who left yesterday.”

Some 186 passengers will return to Montreal on Friday and 58 to Toronto this weekend, Cabana confirmed by email.