Eight U.S. airlines from select U.S. cities could begin flying to and from Havana as early as this fall, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines have been cleared to begin service to the José Martí International Airport in Havana. American Airlines plans to offer 35 flights per week, and JetBlue is planning 27 flights per week.
Collectively, several of the companies tentatively granted permission to fly to Havana from the U.S. applied for more than 60 flights per day, which is greater than the two countries agreed upon in February. The arrangement allows only 20 round-trip flights per day between the United States and Havana. The arrangement also allows 10 daily round-trips to nine other international airports in Cuba.
Flights can leave from 10 U.S. cities: Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; Houston; Los Angeles; Newark, New Jersey; New York City and the Florida cities of Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Miami and Fort Lauderdale, cities with the largest Cuban-American populations, could fly as many as 83 flights to and from Cuba per week — the largest number of flights granted to any U.S. airports.
On June 10, six airlines won permission to resume scheduled air service between the two countries. Until then, the only flights available to and from the island were chartered.
U.S.-Cuba relations have been gradually renewing after President Barack Obama announced a "thaw" in 50 years of Cold War barriers to travel and other exchanges. Obama and first lady Michelle traveled to Havana in March.