USA and Cuba sign deal on commercial flights

Dozens of new flights set to launch by the autumn
As expected, the United States and Cuba have signed a deal to resume commercial flights for the first time in more than 50 years. Dozens of new flights will begin daily operations by the autumn.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Cuban Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez signed the agreement in a ceremony at Havana’s Hotel Nacional. US carriers can now start bidding on routes for 110 flights a day.
The deal includes 20 scheduled daily flights to Havana in addition to the current 10-15 charter flights. The rest are to other cities on the island. The move comes ahead of a visit to Havana by President Barack Obama by the end of March.
“Today is a historic day in the relationship between Cuba and the US,” said Foxx. “It represents a critically important milestone in the US effort to engage with Cuba.”
Rodriguez said “the adoption of this memorandum is an important step that will soon permit the establishment of regular flights between the United States and Cuba.”
American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and Delta are all expected to apply for flights. The deal does not include flights by Cuba’s national airline to the USA.


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