DOT Gives 8 U.S. Airlines Approval For Scheduled Passenger Flights To Havana

Image courtesy of Rdog Xtreme

A few weeks after the U.S. Department of Transportation gave airlines its blessing to start regularly scheduled passenger flights to nine Cuban cities, the government is adding Havana to that list of destinations for eight U.S. airlines.

The DOT has proposed eight airlines to begin regular passenger flights to the Cuban capital for the first time in half a century: American, Delta, United, Southwest, Spirit, Alaska, Frontier, and JetBlue, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

U.S. cities that will have flights to Havana include New York, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Newark, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.



The proposed flights could start as soon as this fall, the agency said.

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

U.S. airlines had been vying for approval since March, filing applications for one of the 20 daily flights authorized under the U.S./Cuban arrangement. The DOT says a dozen U.S. airlines applied for the chance to operate scheduled passenger and cargo service to Havana, collectively applying for nearly 60 flights.

If you’re planning on traveling to Cuba, you must qualify for one of 12 categories, including visiting family, working as a journalist, official government business, or others — not including tourist travel.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.