US-Cuba regular flights to begin on August 31
An airplane of the US airline Jet Blue will arrive in Cuba on August 31, an event that will mark the reestablishment of regular flights from the US to the island, with a route that had not taken place for more than half a century.
Eduardo Rodriguez, Cuban Deputy Minister of Transport, confirmed today at a press conference that the flight will arrive at the Abel Santamaria International Airport of Villa Clara around noon, in a context of guarantees for operational safety and airport infrastructure.
He recalled that the restrictions imposed by the US embargo that prohibit its citizens make tourist trips to Cuba are sill in force, but recent changes to regulations of that economic siege, issued since 2015, take some steps in the positive direction.
The deputy minister explained that the improvement in this branch of transport is part of the process of implementing the memorandum of understanding signed in February.
Alfredo Cordero, president of the Cuban Institute of Civil Aeronautics (IACC), noted that the new stage makes it possible to carry out, in both directions, up to 110 daily flights, 10 at each Cuban international airport, except Havana, because pertinent authorization has not been given yet.
Trips will take place from anywhere in the United States to the island and vice versa, with reciprocal rights, he said; and it will be possible to make reservations online, while recognizing that a reduction in prices so far will be observed.
Regular flights of the U.S. company American Airlines will start operating In September to Holguin and Cienfuegos, while Silver will do the same to Santa Clara, Cordero informed.
Mayda Molina, an official of IACC announced the upcoming addition of other companies during the winter season, while American Airlines replace its charter flights with regular ones.
She said that the flights (11 daily until October 29) to the interior of the country were approved in all requested frequencies, with a higher number to Santa Clara, Holguin, Camaguey and Varadero.
It will be possible to make travel reservations from all Cuba, said Molina, and conditions for the purchase of tickets will be the same than those of any other airline operating on the island.
Regular flights offer more stability and better service conditions, and on the island they will join the charter flights already taking place from the northern nation.
The Deputy Minister of Transport said that Cubana Airlines makes progress in formalities to obtain permission to fly to the United States.