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First U.S.-Cuba commercial flight in more than 50 years touches down

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

jetblue 1st us cuba flightJetBlue marks a day in history with its flight 387 as the plane fly from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and landed at Abel Santamaría Airport (SNU) in Cuba. It marks the first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in more than half a century on Wednesday.

The flight ushers in a new era of affordable and convenient air travel to Cuba, and comes after months of collaboration between JetBlue, U.S. officials, Cuban officials and business partners to resume air service between the two countries.

“We are proud to be the first U.S. airline to serve Cuba, but our focus is on being the best airline serving Cuba,” said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. “This historic flight symbolizes our long-term commitment to provide affordable, award-winning service between Cuba and the U.S. For the first time in decades, families separated by only a short stretch of water can easily and affordably visit a loved one, attend an important occasion or visit a special place – and the role we play speaks directly to our mission of inspiring humanity.”

The occasion marked not only the first U.S. scheduled commercial flight since the 1960s, but also the first time an American carrier has operated a scheduled commercial jetliner between the U.S. and Cuba, as U.S. airlines only flew propeller-powered aircraft to the Caribbean island before the embargo began.

With one-way fares starting at $99 the airline has removed the high costs and complexity of travel to Cuba while offering the same award-winning service that has made JetBlue popular throughout the Caribbean.

Day-of-travel Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card): Separate from the U.S.-regulated 12 categories, Cuba requires visitors to obtain an entrance visa onto the island. For customers who qualify for a Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card), JetBlue will make those available for purchase upon check-in at one of its gateway airports or at the gate for connecting customers on the day of travel. All travelers to Cuba should contact the Cuban Embassy in Washington to determine the appropriate type of visa required by Cuba for their purpose of travel.

In addition to Santa Clara, JetBlue will launch service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Camagüey – Ignacio Agramonte Airport (CMW) on November 3, and Holguín – Frank País Airport (HOG) on November 10, subject to receipt of government operating authority.

JetBlue tentatively plans to serve the Cuban capital of Havana with daily flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) . With up to seven daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba JetBlue is committed to investing in and growing new Cuban markets.

When service to Cuba begins, JetBlue will operate in 22 countries and the new routes will further grow JetBlue’s presence in the Caribbean and at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood where the airline is the largest carrier, flying to more than 50 nonstop destinations by the end of the year.

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