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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Open New Flight Routes between US and Cuba

Por qubano22005

Despite the political maneuvers and the numerous obstacles that the US government has created for the Americans to ban their traveling to Cuba, the country has witnessed a renewed interest in traveling to the Caribbean island that coincides with more flights proposals to Havana. Several air routes have been opened by the US Department of Transportation to Cuba, with the aim of enabling the flights of five big companies. The attempt proposes routes from different cities in the United States. However, the confirmation will be given next weeks after the public comments on the viability or not of the routes.

Some of the proposed flights are Havana and Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Houston. Objections to the proposals must be submitted by April 16, and on the 23rd, the final proposals will be presented so that the Department can make a final decision.

The initiative, carried out by powerful North American airlines, contrasts with the decision of Donald Trump to step back in the diplomatic relations between both nations. In the lasts administration, the visit of US citizens has been limited due to the numerous travel restrictions imposed by the president, among them, the possibility of being fined back to America for violating any of the sections indicated by the Embargo to Cuba and the Helms-Burton law regarding visits to the largest of the Antilles.

A precedent of what has happened was the reduction of flights to the Island, after several airlines change their number of trips and options. During the months of the restoration of relations, several American companies bid to lead the Cuban market; Jet Blue and American Airlines were among the main competitors whose price war caused more than one citizen to enlist in one of the routes, only taking advantage of the very low air ticket costs. At that time a report from the US Department of Transportation showed that several airlines were cresting pressure to get some of the 20 daily flights to and from the island. However, after Trump's restrictions, they found a weaker than expected demand, forcing some to stop flying to certain cities or to eliminate the service to Cuba.

The proposal of new flight routes to the Caribbean island seems to indicate that interest in tourism has once again increased. Although there has been no change in Trump's policy towards Cuba, Tom Popper, president of Insight Cuba, points out that the demand is increasing. Perhaps it all has to do with the fact that only a few months ago a group of North American tour operators gave faith that traveling to the Island was safe. Criterion issued, among the negative propaganda towards the Island there was the travel alert to US citizens issued by the State Department after the alleged sonic attacks that occurred in 2016. However, so far, neither the FBI nor any other organization has could demonstrate the occurrence of such events. The nation was also hit by Hurricane Irma that left the island devastated.

According to Popper, the new requests made to the Department of Transportation are optimistic; this reflects the healthy increase of travels to Cuba. The request for information and reservations through the web pages show the "awakening" of American tourism in the island. Popper greatly hopes that American tourism will be retaken in the nation. According to the president of Insight Cuba, although Trump's regulations were a step back and the measures caused confusion among travelers, Cuba remains an attractive destination due to its nature, its population and above all the citizenship security.

According to the laws of the State Department, American travelers must be included in 12 categories approved by Washington to travel to Cuba. Trips for purely tourist reasons are still prohibited. Washington also prohibited financial transactions to Cuban entities, many of them with close relations with the Cuban army, for which Donald Trump issued a decree in which 180 Cuban entities that include companies, hotels and stores, should not receive money from the States.

Executives from Insight Cuba and other tourism experts from the United States have denounced this measure intended to undermine the rights of American citizens’ freedom to travel.

The proposed flights are: A daily flight on American Airlines from Miami. A daily flight on Delta Air Lines from Miami. A daily flight onSouthwest Airlines from Fort Lauderdale. Flights six times a week, from Sunday to Friday, on JetBlue Airways, from Fort Lauderdale.