It looks like another major step has been taken in the “Cuban Thaw.” According to NBC News, U.S. Airlines will resume scheduling commercial flights to Cuba for the first time in decades.
“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to begin a new journey with the Cuban people,” said the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”
Diplomatic relations with Cuba fell apart during the Cold War in 1961, something that president Barack Obama made his mission to restore when he was elected to office. Successfully doing so, on July 20, 2015 President Obama became the first U.S. president to step foot on Cuban soil in 80 years. Since this historic trip, the Department of Transportation has approved 155 round trip flights per week from American, Frontier, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Southwest and Sun Country Airlines.
Although the U.S. is still waiting for the Cuban government’s approval, tickets will begin to sell in the next few weeks and airlines are expected to begin services within 90 days of their proposed dates. Some airlines have proposed to begin flying in as little as 60 days, but most services are expected to begin this upcoming fall/winter—just in time to escape the snow!
U.S. airlines will be flying from five cities (Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to nine cities in Cuba (Camaguey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguin, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba). Decisions on Cuba’s colorful capital, Havana, is expected to be announced later on this summer.
Known for it’s musical rhythm, cigars, vintage cars and Spanish colonial architecture, Cuba has birthed icons like Celia Cruz and has even been a home to famous American novelist, Ernest Hemingway. Will you be catching a flight to Cuba anytime soon?