After a gap of some 50 years Cuba and USA will resume scheduled air services in a pact agreed this month. Under the new accord, which was announced a year after the two countries began talks, United States airlines will be allowed to fly 110 round trip flights per day
Thomas Engle, deputy assistant secretary for transportation affairs at the U.S. State Department said that although 110 round trip flights per day have been agreed, the airlines will first have to apply for permission from U.S. regulators to fly specific routes before they can be advertised on airline web sites. US charter flight companies already have permission to fly to destinations inside Cuba.
The agreed deal includes 20 flights a day to Havana the Cuban capital along with 10 flights to other airports in Cuba.
Interestingly, while these flights have been given the green light, US citizens will still be banned from using them for general tourism, as the accord only allows the flights to be used for one of 12 criteria to visit, such as visiting family in Cuba or taking part in educational tours or journalistic activities.
Most of the leading U.S. carriers have announced they are interested in offering service to Cuba as soon as they’re allowed to do so. A United Airlines spokesman said the airline has 15 days from today to submit its request to launch Cuba service to the DOT.and “looks forward to submitting a Cuba service proposal to the Department of Transportation in the coming weeks.”