0 min left

U.S.-Cuba Agreement Allows for Commercial Flights Daily

A bilateral agreement between Cuba and the United States opens the doors for commercial flights but falls short of legalizing tourism.

Flyers hoping to travel direct from the United States to Havana may be able to utilize a regularly scheduled commercial flight in the near future. The U.S. State Department announced a new bilateral agreement which will pave the way for regular service to begin from American airports to Cuba.

The new plan was agreed upon on December 16. Under the new plan, air carriers would be able to schedule established service between the United States and Cuba, while continuing to maintain charter flights. While officials recognize the move as a step in the right direction, tourists would still be barred from flying on commercial flights without special permission.

“This arrangement will continue to allow charter operations and establish scheduled air service, which will facilitate an increase in authorized travel, enhance traveler choices, and promote people-to-people links between the two countries,” the State Department said in a statement. “While U.S. law continues to prohibit travel to Cuba for tourist activities, a stronger civil aviation relationship will facilitate growth in authorized travel between our two countries.”

The move was quickly praised by American carriers, with many announcing their intentions to apply for permission to begin commercial operations to Cuba. American Airlines, United Airlines, and other carriers have announced their intentions to apply for permission to start regularly scheduled service.

“We look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other American hubs,” American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “We appreciate the Administration’s efforts and the hard work of the U.S. negotiators to reach this arrangement.”

Officials at United echoed the sentiments in a similar statement. “We look forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba as soon as we have approval to do so,” the airline announced.

The announcement caps the one-year anniversary of opening diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. “We are advancing our shared interests and working together on complex issues that for too long defined—and divided—us,” President Barak Obama said in a statement.

[Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File/Associated Press]

Comments are Closed.
djjaguar64 December 20, 2015

Free flights yes, Macdonald's No!!