Cuba, US ink deal to resume regular commercial flights
In total, there will be 110 daily roundtrip flights between the US and Cuba.
U.S. airlines will have up till March 2 to submit their route applications to the U.S. Transportation Department.
The agreement allows for regular flights “between any city in the USA and any city in Cuba”, provided it is equipped with infrastructure for global air travel, he added.
“The Department recognizes the eagerness of US carriers to take advantage of these new Cuba opportunities, and intends to reach a final decision as expeditiously as possible”, it said in a statement.
“With this arrangement in effect the airlines of both countries, may, in addition, set up business agreements together such as code shares and lease contracts for aircraft between them or with airlines from third countries”, said Adel Yzquierdo.
That pact came a little less than a year after President Barack Obama announced that the two countries would reestablish diplomatic relations.
The deal does not contemplate flights by Cuba’s national airline to the United States, where lawyers for families and businesses that have sued Havana over decades-old property confiscations are eager to freeze any of its assets that they can get their hands on.
Several U.S. airlines, according to the media reports, including United, American and JetBlue, are interested in bidding for the daily routes to Cuba.
The order invites applications from US carriers and initiates a proceeding for DOT to select which USA carriers will be able to offer scheduled flights to Cuba, and from which US points.
After months of negotiations, the two nations agreed to a deal in December that would allow for commercial flights to resume. It represents a critically important milestone in the USA effort to engage with Cuba”.
Mr. Foxx said: “Today is a historic day in the relationship between Cuba and the US”.
The two countries had been at odds for more than half a century following the overthrow of then-Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1959 by Fidel Castro’s forces.
A few weeks ago, in an exclusive interview with ACN, Josefina Vidal, director general of the US Department of the Cuban ministry of foreign affairs, said that after the signing of the document a conciliation process opens between the entities responsible for providing the service to address all technical requirements. “We hope the next dots on our Caribbean route map will be regularly scheduled service to and from Cuba”.