As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to “normalize” relations with Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved six domestic airlines to begin scheduled flights between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul and Cuba as early as this fall.
“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”
The carriers receiving the awards are American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.
The five US cities that will receive new scheduled service to Cuba are Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Philadelphia. The nine Cuban cities are Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.
Under the new arrangement, each country has the opportunity to operate up to 10 daily roundtrip flights between the US and each of Cuba’s nine international airports, other than Havana, for a total of 90 daily roundtrips.
Longer term, the arrangement also provides for up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between the US and Havana. A decision on the Havana routes will be announced later this summer.