After More Than 50 Years, the US Passenger Plane Landed in Cuba

For the first time in more than 50 years, an passenger flight American airline provided to Cuba.

Jet Blue Flight 387 departs from Fort Lauderdale International Airport, for Santa Clara, Cuba, inaugurating the first regularly scheduled commercial flight between the US and Cuba in more than half a century, on August 31, 2016.

This historic flight took place this morning from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and arrived in Santa Clara, east of the capital Havana. The successful flight took an estimated 51 minutes.

According to a New York Times report, JetBlue’s executive vice president Marty St. George explained that a propeller plane was used the last time a US airline regularly scheduled flights to the communist country.

A total of six airlines have come forth to provide services to nine Cuban cities — a change of pace from the charter flights passengers had been forced to book in order to visit the country. These charter flights have been burdensome for passengers flying to Cuba: flights were unreliable and expensive, and the processing procedures was drawn-out.

“Up to a year ago, we were doing reservations by fax machines,” said Peter Sanchez, chief executive of Cuba Tours and Travel, to the New York Times.

The resumed service follows other diplomatic moves from the Obama administration that signal warming relations between the two countries.

“We will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” said President Obama in a statement on policy changes towards Cuba in December 2014.

Since then, embassies were opened and an American assembly plant was authorized to be built in Cuba.

However, the transition has not been without a few bureaucratic hiccups. Although there have been exceptions, US citizens that are classified as tourists are still officially banned from traveling to the country. Additionally, the New York Times reported that the tractor assembly plant, which was approved by the US to be built in Cuba, was delayed by Cuban authorities.

Sourche: Business Insider



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