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Airlines Havana: 20 Daily Non-Stops on 8 Carriers From 10 US Cities

Image: Airlines Havana: 20 Daily Non-Stops on 8 Carriers From 10 US Cities
Members of The Rolling Stones, from left, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood talk with the press after arriving to Jose Marti international airport in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

By    |   Friday, 08 Jul 2016 12:25 PM

Airlines are lining up for Havana flights, and now the U.S. Department of Transportation has tentatively approved eight carriers to provide 20 daily nonstop flights from 10 American cities.

The flights could start as early as fall in a move that's just the United States' latest in normalizing ties with Cuba, according to The Wall Street Journal. Airlines had asked for nearly 60 daily flights to the island nation's capital, but the department approved only 20.

"Today we take another important step toward delivering on President Obama's promise to reengage Cuba," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Restoring regular air service holds tremendous potential to reunite Cuban American families and foster education and opportunities for American businesses of all sizes."

The airlines that won tentative approval are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines, according to the department's statement.

Transportation officials said that the flights will originate from Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando, and Tampa.

USA Today wrote that 12 routes went to areas with large Cuban populations, with Miami and Fort Lauderdale each getting six daily non-stops to Havana. Beyond that, the routes appeared to be distributed over a wide range of carriers.

"It's probably a high-level decision by DOT to spread the loot around pretty broadly," Seth Kaplan, an editor at trade publication Airline Weekly, told USA Today.

The department said that objections can be filed to its tentative decision by July 22, with answers to the objections given by July 29. The Department of Transportation said it will make a final decision on the destinations later in the summer.

Michael Boyd, an aviation consultant with Boyd Group International, told The Wall Street Journal that travel infrastructure is likely to limit the Cuban market early on.

"There are more hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip than in all of Cuba," Boyd told the Journal.

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Airlines are lining up for Havana flights, and now the U.S. Department of Transportation has tentatively approved eight carriers to provide 20 daily nonstop flights from 10 American cities.
airlines, havana, flights, us
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2016-25-08
Friday, 08 Jul 2016 12:25 PM
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