22 FEBRUARY 2016
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Last week Cuba and US signed an agreement to allow, after 50 years, scheduled flights to operate between the two countries. President Barack Obama will become the first sitting US President to visit Cuba in 88 years, when he visits Havana in March, the White House has confirmed. (see ON TOUR: Cuba - an enigma within an enigma)
Quickly out with statements saying that they were interested in offering service were most US carriers including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and United.
The agreement would allow as many as 110 flights per day between Havana, or one of Cuba's nine other international airports, and the US, according to reports.
Anthony Foxx, US secretary of transportation, called the agreement "a critically important milestone," and Cuban Transportation Minister Adel Rodriguez said it signalled a "new era," the BBC reported.
The US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960 and relations have been nearly non-existent since then. US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, began working to normalize relations in late 2014.
There are a number of charter flights between the two countries daily. Passengers are required to give their reason for travelling to Cuba and tourism is not one of the accepted reasons. Virgin Atlantic flies non-stop from London. www.travel2cuba.co.uk
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