Date
25 July 2017
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (L) shakes hands with Cuba's Transport Minister Adel Rodriguez after signing a pact in Havana Tuesday to restore scheduled air service between the two countries. Photo: Reuters
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (L) shakes hands with Cuba's Transport Minister Adel Rodriguez after signing a pact in Havana Tuesday to restore scheduled air service between the two countries. Photo: Reuters

US, Cuba ink deal to restore scheduled flights

The United States and Cuba signed an agreement Tuesday to officially allow commercial flights between the two countries to resume for the first time in more than 50 years.

“Today is a historic day … signaling that for the first time in more than five decades the United States and Cuba will allow scheduled service between our two nations,” Reuters cited US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as saying at a ceremony in Havana.

The ceremony in Havana formalized an understanding unveiled in December that the two former Cold War rivals will add scheduled commercial airline services to the current charter flights.

According to American officials, the deal will allow more than 100 daily round-trip flights between the US and 10 airports in Cuba.

Shortly after the signing, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and United Airlines issued statements expressing interest in launching new services.

US airlines have until March 2 to submit route applications to the nation’s Transportation Department.

American travel to Cuba, both authorized and surreptitious, has boomed since US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro agreed to start normalizing relations in December 2014.

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