Saturday, September 10, 2011

Flights Start From Puerto Rico To Cuba

Fight service has resumed between Puerto Rico and Cuba.  It has been almost 50 years since flight service was stopped, between Puerto Rico and Cuba, due to the political situation in Cuba.


The inaugural flight, an American Eagle charter flight from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Antonio Maceo Airport (SCU) in Santiago, Cuba, had two dozen passengers including travel agency owners.  The passengers on the fully-booked flight, were reported to be, Puerto Rico residents of Cuban origin visiting relatives back home.  The flight, arranged by Cuba Travel Services, believes the demand is there, with the large Cuban population in Puerto Rico.


Cuban Travel Services acquired permission from the Cuban government to operate charter flights from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) and Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to authorized airports in Cuba.  Cuba Travel Services expects to launch a set schedule of weekly flights to Santiago, Cuba, in November, and then add the Havana route. Ticket prices have not been set, but are likely to be in the $500-$600 range.  Another company,  C&T Charters, will begin offering San Juan-Havana flights as early as this month.  C&T Charters, a charter service based in Coral Gables, Florida, is one of two companies that told the Puerto Rico Ports Authority it wanted to start charters to Cuba.


Earlier this year, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officials announced, that Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport had been given federal permission to schedule charter flights to and from Cuba.  Previously, Miami, New York and Los Angeles had been the only U.S. cities providing service to Cuba . The U.S. embargo has prohibited most American citizens from traveling to Cuba since the 1960s.  Cuban-Americans can now make unlimited family visits.  Last January, the Obama administration approved loosening the embargo, allowing for cultural, religious and academic groups to travel to Cuba.


The United States still prohibits regular commercial flights to Cuba and does not allow American tourists to vacation on the Communist Caribbean island.

                                                                                        

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