US And Cuba Agree To Commercial Flights Deal

People look at the flight information screens with the last update of flights to Cuba at the Miami International Airport

The United States and Cuba have signed a deal to restore commercial flights for the first time in more than five decades.

The pact calls for as many as 110 daily flights from the US to cities across Cuba, including 20 regular daily flights to Havana by next autumn.

US airlines currently operate between 10 and 15 charter flights into the Cuban capital per day.

The deal marks one of the more significant developments between the former Cold War foes since presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced a normalising of relations in December 2014.

US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx hailed it as “historic” after signing the deal in Havana on Tuesday alongside Cuban transportation minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez.

Cuban Revolution

Video: History Of US-Cuba Relations

Mr Foxx said: “Today is a historic day in the relationship between Cuba and the US. It represents a critically important milestone in the US effort to engage with Cuba.”

The travel agreement immediately opens the door for US airlines to start bidding on the new routes.

A spokesman for American Airlines, which has operated charter flights into Cuba since 1991, said the carrier would bid on commercial routes from Miami and other US hubs.

Several other airlines, including United, Southwest, Delta, JetBlue and Spirit have expressed interest in securing daily routes into Cuba.

Under terms of the deal, US airlines will have a 15-day window to apply for rights to the new routes. They will then have to reach an agreement with Cuban aviation officials.

Despite the new agreement, tourism to Cuba remains barred by US law.

However, the number of legal reasons for US travellers to go to Cuba have been widely extended and are loosely enforced.


 [Source:- sky]