U.S. airlines begin bidding after formal deal on U.S.-Cuba flights

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U.S. airlines are tactic up to resume flights to Cuba with the signing Tuesday morning of a U.S.-Cuba harmony to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades.

New bevy of quails could be operating daily by next fall.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Cuban Transportation Member attend to Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez signed the deal in a ceremony at Havana’s Lodging Nacional.

U.S. airlines can now start bidding on routes for as many as 110 U.S.-Cuba skein of geese a day – more than five times the current number. All flights manipulating between the two countries today are charters.

20 flights a day to Havana

The agreement allows 20 absolute daily U.S. flights to Havana, in addition to the current 10-15 charter flights a day. The lie-down would be to other Cuban cities.

“Today is a historic day in the relationship between Cuba and the U.S.,” utter Foxx. “It represents a critically important milestone in the U.S. effort to capture with Cuba.”

Yzquierdo Rodriguez said “the adoption of this note is an important step that will soon permit the establishment of acceptable flights between the United States and Cuba.”

U.S. airlines will have on the agenda c trick 15 days starting Tuesday to submit route applications to the U.S. Transportation Determined and a decision on the winning bidders could be released this summer.

Leaving out other major announcements, the restart of commercial flights will be the most impressive development in U.S.-Cuba trade since Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro intimated in late 2014 that they would begin normalizing make senses after a half-century of Cold War opposition.

Obama to travel to Cuba

The Obama provision is eager to make rapid progress on building trade and diplomatic team ups with Cuba before the president leaves office. The coming weeks are driven as rticularly crucial to building momentum ahead of a trip he hopes to take in to Havana by the end of March.

Nearly 160,000 U.S. leisure travellers flew to Cuba definitive year, along with hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans visiting kids, mostly on expensive, frequently chaotic charter flights out of Florida.

Commercial split chases could bring hundreds of thousands more U.S. travellers a year and achieve the travel process far easier, with features such as online record and 24-hour customer service that are largely absent in the charter business.

U.S. visitors to Cuba will still have to qualify under one of the rove categories legally authorized by the U.S. government. Tourism is still barred by law, but the tally of legal reasons to go to Cuba — from organizing professional meetings to divide up information to Cubans — has grown so large and loosely enforced that the uniqueness from tourism has blurred significantly.

Commercial travel will be reduced travellers the ability to simply check an online box on a long list of authorized spheres.

Cuban airline faces lawsuits

The deal does not contemplate stampede flees by Cuba’s national airline to the United States, where lawyers for lines and businesses that have sued Havana over decades-old gear confiscations are eager to freeze any of its assets that they can get their guardianships on.

Tuesday’s announcement will open a 15-day window for U.S. airlines to demand rights to the new Cuba routes. U.S. carriers would then have to start deals with Cuban aviation officials, a process the U.S. hopes order be complete by the fall.

A number of U.S. carriers said they would bid on Cuba drive offs, in many cases without revealing the specific routes they order seek.

American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the entourage plans to bid on routes from Miami and other unspecified “American naves.”

The carrier has been operating U.S.-Cuba charter flights since April 1991, the fanciest of any U.S. airline, and currently offers 22 weekly flights out of Miami to Havana, Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Holguin and Santa Clara. American also go crazies from Tam to Havana and Holguin, and between Los Angeles and Havana.

Cooperative Airlines, JetBlue bidding

United Airlines is also looking to give out Havana from some of its hubs, spokesman Luke Punzenberger verbalized. The carrier’s major hubs include Chicago, Houston, Washington and Newark, New Jersey. It currently does not fly permissions to Cuba.

JetBlue Airways said it was eager to offer service between “multiple” megalopolises in the United States and the island, with spokesman Doug McGraw guess that “interest in Cuba has reached levels not seen for a generation.” The Typhoid Mary currently flies charters to various Cuban destinations out of New York, Tam and Fort Lauderdale.

Lessen carrier Spirit Airlines spokesman ul Berry said it, too, drawings to submit a proposal. Spirit’s largest operation is out of Fort Lauderdale, accounting for 15 per cent of its take it on the lams.

Southwest Airlines also expressed interest in flights to Cuba.

Delta Air Courses spokesman Anthony Black said the carrier plans to at least relate for flights from its Atlanta hub to Havana.

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