Diplomatic relations have been restored between the United States and Cuba. Unfortunately, until Congress lifts the embargo the resumption of full business and financial relations will happen slowly. The good news is, they are happening.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday authorized six American airlines to begin direct flights to Cuba as soon as fall, paving the way for the resumption of scheduled air travel between the United States and Cuba after more than 50 years.
The Department of Transportation said it had approved applications from American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines to begin flying to Cuba from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The action was the latest piece of President Obama’s push to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States after more than half a century of hostility. In place of American efforts to isolate Cuba, an island nation 90 miles south of Florida, the new policy encourages Americans to travel there.
The service approved on Friday will fly to nine Cuban cities, including Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba. The Transportation Department said it would announce routes to Havana, the capital, this summer. Those could include service from New York, Washington and Boston, for which several major carriers have applied.
American officials signed an agreement with Cuban authorities in February to allow for re-establishing scheduled flights — including 20 daily round-trip flights to Havana — and the Department of Transportation invited American airlines to apply. Interest in flying to Havana was overwhelming. The airlines applied for three times as many flights daily as the agreement allows, and the administration is still choosing among those proposals.
This post was excerpted from New York Times Full attribution and a link to this article follow directly.
U.S. Approves 6 Airlines for Direct Flights to Cuba
June 10, 2016
Published by the New York Times
Written by Julie Hirschfeld Davis