Alaska Airlines's flights to link Seatle, Los Angeles and Cuba set to begin

Posted: 14-Sep-16 11:56

Pending final approval from the Caribbean island's government, travellers will soon be able to make the journey from California's biggest sprawl to one of the world's ultimate bucket list destinations, with no layovers. The Los Angeles-Havana route could soon be a reality as the airline works with Cuban authorities to make it happen.

Alaska Airlines's flights to link Seatle, Los Angeles and Cuba set to begin

With widespread predictions that Cuba is set to become one of the hottest tourist destinations on the planet in the next five years, it makes sense that the number of flight routes between America’s major aviation hubs and the tropical island are rapidly increasing. The latest looking to link up Los Angeles and Havana.

According to a report by Annie Zak on Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska Airlines has been given permission by the U.S. federal government to begin a route that will originate in Seattle, the carrier’s base, and offer a same-plane service connecting through Los Angeles in California before heading to its final destination in Cuba.

Providing the Cuban government also gives its approval, the firm will begin looking at when to start the service imminently. It’s yet another sign of a change in relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments over recent years. After decades without open diplomatic communications or trade deals, steps have been made under the administration of President Obama to restore and reengage, with travel a major item on the agenda for both.

Travel restrictions have been eased, with eight U.S. airlines involved in establishing routes for American passengers that have been approved for entry into Cuba. The airlines are American, Delta Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United and now Alaska. U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx landed in Cuba earlier this year on the first flight from America in more than 50 years, on JetBlue’s Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara route, and issued a statement upon arrival. He said:

“Today’s actions are the result of months of work by airlines, cities, the U.S. government and many others toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage with Cuba. Transportation has a unique role in this historic initiative and we look forward to the benefits these new services will provide to those eligible for Cuba travel.”

According to the new agreement, there is capacity for up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between Havana and airports in the U.S., and a further 90 daily roundtrip flights between American cities and the other international airports on the Caribbean island.

Some have predicted visitors numbers from the States could reach 450,000 in the first year alone, one sixth of the total number of foreign tourists that arrive from other countries on average every 12 months. Clearly these figures are estimates, nevertheless one thing is for sure- passage between the two countries is about to become far easier, and much cheaper, and this can only benefit those looking to explore one of the world’s most unique, vibrant, colourful and individual tropical islands.


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