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US airlines getting ready for Havana

Delta Air Lines filed an application with the U.S. government to provide non-stop service to Cuba from four key cities in the United States. United Airlines also submitted to provide service from Newark/New York, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines filed an application with the U.S. government to provide non-stop service to Cuba from four key cities in the United States. Delta seeks approval to serve Havana with daily flights from its hubs in Atlanta and New York’s JFK International Airport as well as from Miami and Orlando.

“This is a historic moment for Delta as we seek to provide unparalleled access between the U.S. and Cuba,” said Bob Cortelyou, Senior Vice President-Network & Schedule Planning. “Delta’s proposed service to Havana from New York, Atlanta, Miami and Orlando will provide customers with convenient travel options to the Cuban capitol.”

Delta would serve the flights from Atlanta and JFK with the Boeing 757-200, and Miami and Orlando with the Boeing 737-800.

“We look forward to providing access to the island from the U.S. and around the world,” said Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “If approved, these frequencies would increase the strength of our network, advancing Delta’s goal to be the best U.S. airline in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The United States government last month signed an arrangement with Cuba to resume scheduled commercial air service between the countries. Today is the deadline for North American carriers to apply with the U.S. for rights to serve routes between the countries.

Service to Cuba is expected to resume this year, allowing designated U.S. carriers to operate a total of 20 daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and Havana and 10 daily round-trip flights to nine other Cuban cities with international airports.

American Airlines submits application to U.S. Department of Transoportation to operate scheduled service to Cuba
American Airlines submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation proposing to operate scheduled service between the United States and Cuba, including 10 daily frequencies to Havana from American’s Latin America gateway hub in Miami and additional service to Havana from American’s hubs in Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Chicago. American’s proposal also includes daily service between Miami and five other Cuban cities.

“American is the undisputed leader in serving the people and businesses of Miami-Dade County, which is the heart and soul of the Cuban-American community and home to nearly 50 percent of the Cuban-American population in the United States,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “American’s proposed service – from Miami and four other hubs – will provide a strong foundation for the sustained future growth of commercial and cultural ties between the U.S. and Cuba. We commend President Obama, Secretary Foxx, Secretary Kerry, and the Departments of Transportation and State for their leadership in achieving the historic resumption of scheduled air service with Cuba.”

American’s proposed Cuba service:
To Havana:

  • Miami – 10 daily frequencies
  • Charlotte – one daily frequency
  • Dallas/Fort Worth – one daily frequency
  • Los Angeles – one weekly frequency
  • Chicago – one weekly frequency

Also from Miami:

  • Two daily frequencies to Santa Clara
  • Two daily frequencies to Holguin
  • Two daily frequencies to Varadero
  • One daily frequency to Camaguey
  • One daily frequency to Cienfuegos

United flights from Newark/New York, Houston, Washington and Chicago to Havana will offer greater choice, convenience and competition for customers
United Airlines submitted its formal application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to provide service from four of its largest U.S. gateway cities – Newark/New York, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago – to Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. If approved, United will be one of the first U.S. airlines to offer customers daily, nonstop scheduled service to Cuba.

“This is a historic moment for our company, our employees and, most importantly, our customers,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to be the first choice for passengers traveling between the U.S. and Cuba. We’re able to offer customers the best access, convenience and connections to and from Havana through our industry-leading global route network, and we’re excited to compete for this important service.”

United’s proposal to DOT outlines its planned service to Havana from hubs serving four of the country’s largest Cuban-American populations. The service would include a total of 11 roundtrip flights per week with daily service from Newark Liberty and one additional Saturday flight (eight weekly flights), along with a Saturday-only flight from Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare (three weekly flights). If United’s application is approved, service to Havana on these routes will be operated with United Wi-Fi-equipped Boeing 737-800 two-cabin aircraft featuring 16 United First, 90 United Economy and 48 extra legroom United Economy Plus seats.

United launched to create awareness of the significant economic and competitive benefits the airline’s service would provide, as well as the consumer benefits it would bring to individual, business and government customers. The website also offers customers the opportunity to voice their support for United’s service to Cuba.

Daily nonstop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Newark is ideally positioned to serve the region’s Cuban-American community, which is highly concentrated in the area surrounding Newark Liberty. The Newark/New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Cuban-American population outside of Miami. For more than 20 years, United has offered millions of customers throughout the Newark/New York metropolitan area the most flights to the most destinations around the world. Customers in this important market need and deserve a robust suite of options for travel to Cuba.

Saturday nonstop service from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Houston is United’s primary gateway to Latin America. Rated as one of the most international-friendly points of entry for foreign travelers, United operates 91 daily nonstop flights to 52 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean from its Houston hub. Houston will be an important gateway to Havana, directly connecting 20 key markets across the central and western U.S. to Cuba with convenient one-stop service. The Cuban-American population in the Houston metropolitan area ranks eighth nationally.

Saturday nonstop service from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is home to the nation’s tenth-largest Cuban-American population as well as the government institutions and political and economic organizations that are key to building the U.S.-Cuba relationship. United’s service between Washington Dulles and Havana will link two international capitals with weekly nonstop service and will connect 20 U.S. markets to Cuba with just one stop.

Saturday nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
United is Chicago’s hometown airline and home to the country’s sixth-largest Cuban-American community. With nearly 500 daily flights, including nonstop service to 21 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean, United’s O’Hare hub was recognized as having the best connections to other airports, large and small, in the U.S. and around the world, according to the Airport Connectivity Quality Index. Chicago’s gateway to Havana will connect 28 key markets in the U.S. to Cuba with one-stop service.

Alaska Airlines Files Application to Fly Los Angeles-Havana, Cuba
Alaska Airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation seeking approval to fly two daily nonstop flights from its Latin America gateway of Los Angeles to Havana, Cuba. The Los Angeles metro area has the largest Cuban-American population in the Western United States.

“Together with our 14 global partner airlines, Alaska Airlines offers more than 110 nonstop destinations from Los Angeles. As the largest West Coast-based airline, we’re well positioned to offer our customers convenient access to one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations,” said John Kirby, Alaska Airlines vice president of capacity planning.

Citing Alaska’s expansive West Coast route structure and low fares, Kirby said Alaska is excited for the opportunity to offer commercial service from the United States to Havana for the first time in over 50 years. With nearly three decades of international service from Los Angeles, Alaska Airlines offers nonstop service to nine destinations in Latin America with the most peak season flights from Los Angeles to popular Mexican resort destinations including Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

Alaska Airlines’ two daytime flights will be attractive to local Los Angeles business, leisure and Cuban American customers, and provide convenient connecting options for fliers traveling to and from large West Coast cities like Anchorage, Alaska, Portland, Oregon and Seattle.

In its application, Alaska is seeking to operate two daily nonstop flights to Havana using a Boeing 737-900ER, which carries 181 passengers in a two-class configuration. Onboard, customers will enjoy Alaska’s award-winning service, along with features to help make the most of their flight – for work or pleasure. Alaska Beyond Entertainment offers free and premium entertainment direct to customer devices. Other onboard amenities include a selection of food and beverage inspired by local flavors, custom leather seats with adjustable headrests, and power outlets for laptops and personal devices at every seat.

The DOT is expected to award the available route authorities before the end of summer.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.