21 DECEMBER 2015
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Airlines are tugging at the leash to operate scheduled services to Cuba after the US and Havana agreed to restore the relationship for the first time in more than five decades. The deal allows 110 round-trip flights a day.
JetBlue Airways, which operates charters to Cuba, said it will apply to run schedule services once it has reviewed the agreement. Other US airlines including American, Delta and United have also expressed interest. United said: “We look forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba as soon as we have approval.”
Announced a year to the day after the two countries set out to restore ties, the deal allows US carriers to sell tickets for flights to Cuba but they must first apply for permission from regulators to fly specific routes.
The 110 round-trip flights includes 20 to Havana and 10 to each of the other nine international airports in Cuba. No date has been set for signing the agreement but officials say nothing is expected to derail it.
US-based airlines are now expected to submit proposals for new routes over the next two to three months. www.jetblue.com
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