American companies to operate over 50 daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba

Posted: 21-May-16 16:16

Six U.S.-based companies are about to launch new air routes to Cuba this summer, a move that will mark just the beginning of much more fertile commercial agreements between both countries. In the near future over 110 daily flights could be operating between the United States and Cuba, a fact that could potentially lead to a significant drop in the price of the tickets.

American companies to operate over 50 daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba

The full list of American companies that will soon be operating regular flights between the United States and Cuba has been released this month.

The list, which also specifies the ports of departure and destination of each of the new 53 flights, is based on projects submitted by different U.S. airlines to the Cuban Ministry of Transport. Carriers are currently waiting for official authorisation from the Cuban side in order to kick off their plans and reveal their full flight schedule.

According to this listing, American Airlines could be the most important competitor in the market, providing 27 daily flights to Cuba. Its offer includes 10 regular flights connecting Miami and Havana, and two flights that will touch down in Varadero, where Cuba´s most famous beach is located.

In addittion, Delta Airlines will also provide flights from Miami, but it will be widening the scope of the offer with additional regular flights departing from New York, Atlanta and Orlando.

JetBlue -which follows American Airlines as the second most important U.S. carrier with 15 daily flights proposed- could offer routes connecting New York, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Newark and Boston with Havana.

South West is planning to operate 12 daily flights, while Alaska is offering two flights departing from Los Angeles LAX.

United has announced just one daily route (Newark-Havana), but it will operate weekly flights departing from Houston Washington Dulles and Chicago O´Hare.

Experts have predicted a considerable drop in the price of airline tickets to Cuba, as charter operators will no longer be alone in the market. At present, as travellers can only use charters to move between both countries, the price of one ticket can exceed 450 USD.

In any case, charter flights have dominated air travel between Cuba and the U.S. for more than 40 years as a consequence of the American embargo, a policy that restricts normal commercial trade with the island. But now, as ongoing governmental negotiations work at improving the relationship between both nations, the new official agreements aimed at expanding air travel are promising better and fairer options.

The Havana Consulting Group (THCG), an organisation specialised on the economic analysis of the Caribbean country have predicted that:

“...the monopoly of charter flights from the US to Cuba will end, ushering in a new scenario that will radically change the market.”

According to THCG, tickets will cost between 48 and 69 per cent less than in 2015 if the announced plan is finally put in place this summer. The organisation also predicts that by 2019 commercial flights will have 98.57 market share, while charter flights will have only 1.43 percent.

As regular flights are about to resume, Cuban authorities are dealing with the fact that the island´s tourism industry should be developing at a faster pace. Last year, with the arrival of more than 3 million visitors to Cuba, tourism infrastructure reached full capacity.


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