US Airlines Start Scheduled Flights to Cuba

Miami Herald reports:

HAVANA – Six airlines won permission Friday to resume scheduled commercial air service from the U.S. to Cuba for the first time in more than five decades, another milestone in President Barack Obama’s campaign to normalize relations between Cold War foes.

The airlines — American, Frontier, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Southwest and Sun Country — were approved by the Department of Transportation for a total of 155 roundtrip flights per week. They’ll fly from five U.S. cities to nine cities in Cuba other than Havana.

U.S. law still prohibits tourist travel to Cuba, but a dozen other categories of travel are permitted, including family visits, official business, journalist visits, professional meetings and educational and religious activities. The Obama administration has eased rules to the point where travelers are now free to design their own “people-to-people” cultural exchanges with little oversight.

Most of the airline service is expected to begin this fall and early winter, the department said.

Approval is still required by the Cuban government, but the carriers say they plan to start selling tickets in the next few weeks while they wait for signoffs from Cuba.

Source: US airlines to start scheduled flights to Cuba | Miami Herald

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