ASTA Gives Cuba Initiative A ‘Thumbs Up’


The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is pleased with the U.S. State Department’s announcement that it has reached a bilateral arrangement with Cuba to establish scheduled air service between the two countries.

“ASTA congratulates the State Department on reaching an agreement with Cuba that brings us closer to restoring the right of all Americans to fly to Cuba, which has been denied them for far too long. ASTA member travel agents believe that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad,” said ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby.

He added, “ASTA estimates at least two million additional Americans could visit Cuba by 2017 if Congress votes for a full lifting of travel restrictions before the end of this year. While US law still prohibits travel to Cuba for tourist activities, we are encouraged by the continued progress made by the Obama Administration, and we strongly urge Congress to fully repeal the travel ban once and for all.

“Resuming commercial air travel will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them. ASTA continues to support an increase in travellers’ choices to Cuba and a full and complete lifting of travel restrictions.”

United Airlines is also on board, saying it “congratulates the US and Cuban governments on reaching this historic arrangement, which will strengthen ties and economic development between the two countries. We look forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba as soon as we have approval to do so.”