Direct Charter Flights Between NYC, Cuba Start Tuesday

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Image: Tourists stand near the Capitol in Havana
Tourists stand near the Capitol in Havana March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini (CUBA - Tags: SOCIETY TRAVEL)ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI / Reuters

Travelers will be able to board charter flights directly to Cuba from New York City starting Tuesday under the new agreements between the governments of Cuba and the U.S.

The Cuba Travel Services charter flight, operated by Sun Country Airlines, leaves John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York City and flies three hours straight to Havana, Cuba. In the past charter flights have left from Florida.

The changes stem from the thaw in relations between the two countries that started in December. Though going to Cuba as a mere tourist is still banned for Americans, it is easier now. The 12 categories allowed by the State Department for Cuba travel - which include visiting family or educational and religious purposes - no longer require a general license and a wait for U.S. government approval.

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