JetBlue will be the first commercial airline to fly to Cuba — so far
BY CHABELI HERRERA
Low-cost carrier JetBlue announced Thursday it will start flying to Cuba
commercially on Aug. 31 — before competitors American Airlines and
Silver Airways, which have also announced their departure dates.
Pending Cuban government approval, JetBlue would — so far — be the first
U.S. commercial airline to fly to Cuba in more than half a century. The
U.S. Department of Transportation awarded approval for Cuba travel to
six U.S. airlines in June.
JetBlue will be wheels down in Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaria Airport,
located three hours east of Havana, at about noon Aug. 31, beginning the
first of a series of Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights from Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport before daily service begins
on Oct 1. JetBlue will also fly daily to Camagüey starting Nov. 3 and
Holguín beginning Nov. 10 from Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s a new day for Cuba travelers and one we have thoughtfully prepared
for,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president of commercial and
planning at JetBlue. “We are proud to usher in a new era of Cuba travel
with affordable fares and great service.”
One-way flights will be $99, with round-trip from $210, including
Cuba-required health insurance coverage and taxes, making it the lowest
Cuba fare announced so far by a commercial airline.
American Airlines is offering flights to Cuba from Miami International
Airport to Cienfuegos, Holguín, Camagüey, Santa Clara and Varadero, with
its inaugural flights to Cienfuegos and Holguín kicking off on Sept. 7.
During a fare sale that expired earlier this month, tickets were as low
as $286, including taxes.
Regional airline Silver Airways will fly to Cuba for the first time
early in the morning on Sept. 1, with a flight to Santa Clara from Fort
Lauderdale. During its fare sale, which expired June 30, tickets on the
inaugural Santa Clara flight were $313.16.
The flights are generally cheaper than a charter flight to the island,
which now costs about $400 to $460.
Americans can travel to Cuba under 12 categories of travel, which
excludes travel for strictly tourism. Travelers will still need to
obtain an entrance visa, the most common form of which is referred to as
a tourist card or visa. JetBlue said it will also sell visas upon
check-in for about $50. Visas for business or media won’t be available
JetBlue has also tentatively been awarded four daily flights between
Havana and Fort Lauderdale, New York City and Orlando. Neither JetBlue
nor American, which was awarded five daily flights to Havana, have
announced what dates they will fly to the Cuban capital.
Source: JetBlue will be the first commercial airline to fly to Cuba — so
far | In Cuba Today – www.incubatoday.com/news/article92228682.html