Saturday, July 4, 2015

Making The Havana Run

With President Obama's announcement of a US embassy in Havana and opening up, the first practical charter flights by a major carrier, in this case JetBlue, are now available.

The airline said Cuba Travel Services Inc is offering the weekly flight on Fridays between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana's Jose Marti International Airport. It did not say how much the trip would cost.

JetBlue now operates five weekly round trips to Cuba, including flights from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood with various charter partners, the company said in a statement.

Since the Obama administration issued new regulations that eased some restrictions on trade with Cuba, including permitting more travel by Americans to the island, U.S. airlines such as United Airlines Inc [UALCO.UL] and Delta Air Lines have also said they would look into adding service.

Other charter airlines already operate limited service to the Caribbean island.

American citizens are still not allowed to visit Cuba as tourists, but they can visit the island for one of 12 reasons, such as visiting family or participating in academic, professional, religious or educational programs.

I'm going to have to imagine that tourism flights to Cuba, a regular thing enjoyed by our Mexican and Canadian neighbors, will become a reality within a year or two.  Well, if Republicans don't kill it. 

Somehow I think it'll be academic pretty soon.

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