Residents of Montgomery County planning to visit some of the Cuban cities outside of Havana will soon no longer have to struggle with multiple layovers, writes Kenneth Hilario for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
As early as this fall, Philadelphia will be one of five U.S. cities that will offer a direct flight to nine Cuban cities. Six domestic airlines have been authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin scheduled flights between U.S. and Cuban cities as part of the efforts of the Obama Administration’s to normalize relations with Cuba.
American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines will offer direct connections with the Cuban cities of Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba.
“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”
The arrangement allows for each country to operate up to 10 daily round-trip flights between the United States and nine international airports in Cuba other than Havana for a total of 90 daily round-trips.
However, despite the new flights, tourist travel is still prohibited by statute, points out the DOT. The agreed upon routes will facilitate visits, which fall under one of 12 categories such as family visits, journalistic activity, and professional research.
“Longer term, the arrangement also provides for up to 20 daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and Havana,” stated the DOT. A decision on routes to Havana will be announced later this summer.
Read more about the new air connections in the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.