ATLANTA, July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will begin serving Havana, Cuba, this fall from New York-JFK, Atlanta and Miami as a result of today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Delta applauds and thanks the DOT for awarding the airline the ability to resume operating daily, nonstop scheduled service to the Caribbean island for the first time in almost 55 years.
"Today has been a long-awaited moment to celebrate Delta's historic return to Cuba, and we thank Secretary Foxx, his team and the other U.S. officials for granting us the authority to provide Havana service from Atlanta, Miami and New York," said Nicolas Ferri, Delta's Vice President – Latin America and the Caribbean. "We look forward to providing the market with excellent customer and operational performance that will reunite families and support a new generation of travelers seeking to engage and explore this truly unique destination.
"Additionally, I'd like to commend the effort of our cross-divisional teams at Delta, who are working diligently to address the unique logistical challenges to reestablishing daily scheduled Havana service."
All routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval. Delta will begin selling seats to Havana this summer.
Delta's Awarded Routes
Delta flights between New York-JFK and Havana will connect the New York City area, which includes the second-largest Cuban-American population, to Cuba's political, cultural and economic capital.
Atlanta's superior connecting gateway will provide one-stop access to Cuba via the nation's largest hub, with more seats, destinations and flights from Atlanta than any other carrier.
Delta's Miami-Havana flights will serve the largest population of Cuban-Americans in the U.S. Delta offers the second-most flights from Miami international airport.
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. Political instability and profitability issues ultimately led Delta to suspend 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, in 2015, Delta performed three ad hoc charter flights 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 337 destinations in 62 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