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Speculation: New US-Cuba aviation deal...how many flights for AA?

Speculation: New US-Cuba aviation deal...how many flights for AA?

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Old Feb 16, 16, 6:09 am   -   Wikipost
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Speculation: AA and Commercial Flights to/from Cuba

As reported in several media the U. S. Department of Transportation has announced an agreement that would ultimately allow for up to 110 commercial daily flights between the USA and Cuba, including up to 20 flights to La Habana / HAV and up to 10 for nine other Cuban airports. Airlines will apply, USDOT will select. These airports might include Havana (HAV), Camagüey (CMW), Cienfuegos (CFG), Jardines del Rey (CCC), Santa Clara (SNU), Santiago de Cuba (SCU) and Varadero (VRA).

Current USA-Cuba flights, flown by American, Delta, JetBlue, SunJet etc. are all charters through Cuba Travel Service / CTA. AA charter flights to Cuba do not earn AA miles, can not be flown as awards, do not allow for upgrades or recognize any AA perquisites or status.

Tourist travel to Cuba is prohibited under U.S. law for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and others subject to U.S. jurisdiction, as is spending American money for arrangements in Cuba or in Cuba itself. USA travelers must have a permit as allowed by the U. S. Treasury OFAC, as well as purchase tickets from CTS if flying between USA and Cuba.

Link to US Treasury Dept. Office of Foreign Assets Control / OFAC PDF (12 Jan 2016) governing travel to Cuba by U.S. Citizens and Residents.

U. S. citizens can legally travel to Cuba if they are engaging in 12 categories of activities such as professional research, participating in an athletic event, performing in a concert, working on a humanitarian project or taking part in educational activities benefiting Cubans or visiting for "people to people" educational and outreach purposes. Americans might now "self license" if traveling for covered reasons.

Authorized travelers to Cuba are subject to daily spending limits. See the Office of Foreign Assets Control page of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Link to PDF.

Currently, no AAdvantage miles may be earned flying AA or any oneworld airline to or from Cuba (e.g. Iberia).
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Old Dec 18, 15, 3:33 pm
  #31  
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So if the airlines are asked to divide up 110 flights a week, that's probably no more than 30/week for American as an incumbent. I think you let the ULCC take the smaller airports, and focus on HAV and developing the government and NGO travel, as well as the connecting business travel from other countries into MIA:

3x MIA-HAV Mon-Thu (12)
4x MIA-HAV Fri-Sun (12)
1x TPA-HAV Fri-Sat-Sun (3)
1x JFK-HAV Fri-Sat-Sun (3)
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Old Dec 18, 15, 4:19 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by rens View Post
Take a look at the link in post 18. It indicates two flights TPA-HVA on December 19. Both sold out with a total of 284 passengers. You are right that all may not be O/D,(and maybe that one day is not typical) but a healthy number nonetheless
It's hard to say since the charter flights have to exist as stand-alone tickets. They cannot be connected into a larger itinerary. Who knows where those passengers originate? Dec. 19, tomorrow, is also the weekend before Christmas. It's not a typical travel weekend on which I'd make any generalizations.

Nearly all the people-to-people tours originate in Miami, although a few (still very few) have begun offering other departure cities. You meet up with the group at that stateside originating point and you fly to Cuba together on your charter flight; the tour ends with your arrival back at MIA. You have to get yourself to and from MIA on a separate ticket. There's no arriving early in Cuba or staying on post-tour, since that would constitute independent tourism. Our government still prohibits that.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 5:25 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick View Post
So if the airlines are asked to divide up 110 flights a week, that's probably no more than 30/week for American as an incumbent. I think you let the ULCC take the smaller airports, and focus on HAV and developing the government and NGO travel, as well as the connecting business travel from other countries into MIA:

3x MIA-HAV Mon-Thu (12)
4x MIA-HAV Fri-Sun (12)
1x TPA-HAV Fri-Sat-Sun (3)
1x JFK-HAV Fri-Sat-Sun (3)
I could see 1x daily from JFK. As far as TPA, I tend to doubt it. Why not just funnel them through MIA? Much of it will depend upon how much business development is allowed in Cuba. TPA/ORL has a huge PR population but yet AA has no direct flights to SJU.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 7:12 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rens View Post
Take a look at the link in post 18. It indicates two flights TPA-HVA on December 19. Both sold out with a total of 284 passengers. You are right that all may not be O/D,(and maybe that one day is not typical) but a healthy number nonetheless
Yes, there are two flights tomorrow (Saturday). Doesn't look like there are any others between TPA and HAV until the following Saturday.

JDiver is probably correct: there might not be sufficient demand for 150-160 daily seats (meaning one flight each day, not two every Saturday).

Two flights a week is one thing; seven flights a week (the "daily" to which JDiver referred) is quite another.
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Old Dec 19, 15, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by mikekelley View Post
I also think people are vastly overestimating the amount of Tourism that is going to go to Cuba. It is by no means an 'easy' destination for tourists as of right now. It's a very interesting destination, but definitely not just a beach vacation by American standards.
I think the reason so many people are keen to go there this year is that they want to experience Cuba *before* it becomes just a beach vacation by American standards.
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Old Feb 12, 16, 2:34 pm
  #36  
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US government to permit scheduled commercial flights:

The Department later clarified that the agreement allows for up to 110 daily flights total — not 30 — between the U.S. and Cuba: 20 between the U.S. and Havana, and 10 flights to nine other Cuban airports, according to media reports. Airlines will apply to fly between the two countries, and DOT will select which airline will operate the service, according to the notice.
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...#ixzz3zzJShmEL
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:21 pm
  #37  
 
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Cuba here we come?

Just wondering with today's news how long before we know American's plans for flights from the USA to Cuba that are not charters? Maybe they will make a news announcement on what they have applied for?

http://thepointsguy.com/2016/02/comm...om-us-to-cuba/
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:30 pm
  #38  
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Maybe one of these threads could do the job?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...highlight=Cuba

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...highlight=Cuba
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Old Feb 16, 16, 2:45 pm
  #39  
 
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Chicago I doubt will get any applications from AA.

I expect application to most of the secondary cities from Miami.

From Havana, in addition to Miami, I expect Tampa, JFK, Dallas, Los Angeles and maybe Fort Lauderdale applications.

AA already flies to HAV from TPA and LAX, and I'm sure wants to convert to scheduled.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 3:43 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
I think the reason so many people are keen to go there this year is that they want to experience Cuba *before* it becomes just a beach vacation by American standards.
Indeed, I'm interesting in going before Starbucks and McDonald's take it over. @:-)
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:20 pm
  #41  
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Will the opening of scheduled flights be timed to match with a lifting of restrictions on reasons for traveling to Cuba?

If not, will AA be forced to ask you your reason for going to Cuba (and deny you a ticket if you don't give the right reason)?
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:22 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Will the opening of scheduled flights be timed to match with a lifting of restrictions on reasons for traveling to Cuba?

If not, will AA be forced to ask you your reason for going to Cuba (and deny you a ticket if you don't give the right reason)?
¿Quien sabe? But if they do for self declaration reasons, they'll still have to check other documentation anyway (passport, visa).
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:22 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Indeed, I'm interesting in going before Starbucks and McDonald's take it over. @:-)
Then... Go.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 9:59 pm
  #44  
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I think every airline will get the route authorities they seek, except for Havana. There is no way the demand for the other cities in Cuba will ever reach the "max point" for several years. I think AA will try to "heavy-load" MIA-HAV. Because that is where the demand is the highest; those are the shortest flights, and they have a large amount of connection possibilities at MIA. They will probably request one flight each for DFW and JFK to HAV.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 10:33 pm
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If not, will AA be forced to ask you your reason for going to Cuba (and deny you a ticket if you don't give the right reason)?
The requirements are still in place about fitting into the 12 permitted categories of travel to Cuba. Independent tourism is not among them. That has not changed. I do wonder how AA and other airlines will manage this.
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