ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will begin daily service to Havana, Cuba, from Atlanta, Miami and New York–JFK on Dec. 1, 2016, following today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Delta thanked the DOT for awarding the airline the ability to resume operating nonstop scheduled service to Cuba for the first time in almost 55 years.
Flights will be available for sale beginning Sept. 10, 2016. All routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval.
"Today, we celebrate our long-awaited and historic return to Cuba, and we reaffirm our thanks to Secretary Foxx and his team as well as the U.S. State Department for granting us the authority to operate this service," said Nicolas Ferri, Delta's Vice President—Latin America and the Caribbean. "This December, we look forward to serving customers with the excellent customer service and operational performance they expect from Delta while reuniting families and supporting a new generation of travelers seeking to engage and explore this unique destination."
Delta's Awarded Routes
Delta flights between New York-JFK and Havana will connect the New York City area, home to the second largest Cuban-American population, to Cuba's political, cultural and economic capital.
Atlanta service will provide more than 150 U.S. cities with one-stop access to Cuba from the world's largest hub, with more seats, destinations and flights than any other carrier.
Delta's Miami-Havana flights will serve the largest population of Cuban-Americans in the U.S. Delta is the second-largest carrier at Miami International Airport by number of daily flights.
Delta Vacations, Delta's official vacation provider, will offer Cuba travel packages later this year for customers who prefer to bundle their Cuba experience.
Americans can travel to Cuba only if their trip falls within one of 12 designated categories outlined here, including family visits, educational activities, religious activities, humanitarian projects, professional research and professional meetings and others.
Delta's History in Cuba
Delta inherited passenger service to Havana, Cuba, from its merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines (C&S) on May 1, 1953, offering nonstop flights from New Orleans. Delta suspended service on Dec. 1, 1961.
From 2002-2004 Delta operated charters between New York-JFK and Havana. In October 2011, Delta began operating up to a dozen charter flights to Havana per week with daily service from Miami and weekly service from Atlanta and New York-JFK. It operated almost 500 trips before suspending service on Dec. 29, 2012. Most recently, Delta operated three ad hoc charter flights in 2015, including one that carried the Minnesota Orchestra back to Cuba for its first performance on the island in more than 85 years.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 180 million customers each year. In 2016, Delta was named to Fortune's top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the fifth time in six years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented five consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 321 destinations in 56 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/delta.
Delta Air Lines is working to be the best U.S. airline in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has being honored with five World Travel Awards in 2015 in the categories of North America's Leading Airline and United States' Leading Airline to the Caribbean, to Central America, to South America and to Mexico. Delta's achievements in the region have been also recognized with two top customer service distinctions by Latin Trade's Best of Travel Annual Awards 2015, leading the categories of "Best Self-Check-In" and "Best Food and Beverage" in the Delta One™ cabin. Delta continues to grow in Latin America through its long-term exclusive alliances with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Aeroméxico and Aerolíneas Argentinas, and is committed to building a solid regional footprint to enhance its global network and offer its customers the best overall experience. Delta provides service to 26 countries and 55 destinations in the region, offering over 1,500 weekly flights between the U.S. and Latin America/the Caribbean. Delta customers can also receive real-time, on-the-go travel assistance in Spanish and Portuguese through Twitter channels @DeltaAssist_ES and @DeltaAjuda from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Brazilian customers can also access Delta's dedicated Brazilian Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DeltaAirLinesBrasil.
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SOURCE Delta Air Lines