Cuba Preparing to Welcome Back International Travelers

DOT Approves Flights to Cuba for American, JetBlue

The Department of Transportation on Monday announced its approval for both American Airlines and JetBlue Airways to add flights from the U.S. to Havana, Cuba.

It is part of the Biden administration’s plan to expand travel to the island nation in what has been a political hot potato for years.


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The U.S. previously did not recognize Cuba for more than 50 years after the country fell to Fidel Castro and began Communist rule. The Obama administration normalized diplomatic relations in 2014 and opened travel to Cuba, but the Trump administration rescinded those policies.

Now, under President Joe Biden, travel to Cuba has again opened.

For American Airlines, Monday’s announcement means 13 more weekly flights to Havana from its hub in Miami, while JetBlue will add a flight to Havana from Fort Lauderdale, according to Reuters News Service. American already has six daily flights to Cuba and JetBlue has three.

The U.S. earlier this year approved flights to smaller airports in Cuba “in support of the Cuban people, and in the foreign policy interests of the United States,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time.

Whether all this changes again if the administration changes in November of 2024 remains to be seen. Former President Donald Trump has hinted he might run again, and under his previous administration commercial airline flights to smaller airports in Cuba – i.e., areas outside of the capital city of Havana – were banned.

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