DOT Awards Direct U.S. Flights to Havana, Cuba
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced tentative awards for eight U.S. airlines to provide direct flights to Havana from ten U.S. cities. While the Department announced approval in June for flights from U.S. airlines to nine Cuban cities with international airports, the routes to-and-from Havana attracted the most significant interest from all airlines. Eased travel restrictions from Cuba only initially allow for 20 daily flights allowed to Havana, for which U.S. airlines submitted nearly 60 bids. Overall, an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba will allow up to 110 regularly scheduled airline flights each day as relations normalize between the two countries.
The following routes were approved by the USDOT:
- Alaska Airlines: 1 daily round-trip flight from Los Angeles (the only direct flight to Havana from the West Coast)
- American Airlines: 4 daily round-trip flights from Miami, 1 daily round-trip flight from Charlotte
- Delta Airlines: 1 daily round-trip flight from Atlanta, 1 daily round-trip flight from New York JFK, and 1 daily round-trip flight from Miami
- Frontier Airlines: 1 daily round-trip flight from Miami
- JetBlue Airlines: 2 daily round-trip flights (except one on Saturdays) from Fort Lauderdale, 1 daily round-trip flight from New York JFK, and 1 daily round-trip flight from Orlando
- Southwest Airlines: 2 daily round-trip flights from Fort Lauderdale, 1 daily round-trip flight from Tampa
- United Airlines: 1 weekly round-trip flight from Houston (other than Los Angeles, the only U.S. airport west of the Mississippi River with direct access to Havana), 1 daily round-trip flight from Newark Liberty
Interested parties have the opportunity to submit comments or objections to USDOT until July 22, 2016.
Important opportunities will be available to logistics companies as Cuban-American relations improve and economic relations resume, such as serving companies that will invest in Cuba or moving freight through Cuban ports such as the Port of Mariel. To investigate those opportunities, TIA organized a logistics delegation to Cuba in March 2016, which met with Cuban officials, entrepreneurs, and academics. To learn more about the potential for doing business in Cuba, or to be more involved in TIA’s International Logistics Conference, please contact Will Sehestedt at email@example.com or 703-299-5713.