HENDERSON, Nev., June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The new flights approved by The Department of Transportation are due to the historic efforts of President Obama to reestablish our relationship with Cuba. The new agreement between Cuba and the United states will allow 110 flights daily between the two countries. This is the first time in over fifty years such travel has been allowed. Until now, only expensive chartered flights were available.
The 6 airlines hope to start selling tickets by late June and begin flights as early as September 2016. The airlines include Southwest, American, JetBlue, Sun Country, Silver Airways and Frontier. Eastern Airlines, offers chartered flights but was not approved because they failed to submit the application on time. Eastern Airlines application is now pending until a decision is made between Havana and the DOT.
The cities in Cuba which will be receiving flights include Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo del Sur, Cienfuegos, Holguin, Manzanillo, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba and Matanzas. No flights into Havana will be authorized until later in the summer and will be limited to just 20 per day. The flight departures in the U.S. will include Miami, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis.
The availability of non-chartered flights between Cuba and the United States is not a signal that tourist travel is now authorized for just any traveler. People traveling to Cuba must still prove that their travel plans fall under one of the 12 travel categories that include religious work, humanitarian and educational activities, journalism, family business, official business of the U.S. Government, exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations or professional research. The Department of Transportation suggests travelers become informed about the rules and regulations before making travel plans.
Since the initiative to loosen travel regulations between the two countries, the travel rate has increased by about 8% with over 120 million people visiting Cuba in recent months. With lower oil prices, less overhead and the opening of non-commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, the DOT expects to see a significant decrease in airfares and an increase in travel beginning in the fall. This is a great sign for not only American travelers and the Cuban economy, but for the continued opportunity to restore our diplomatic relationship with Cuba.
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