JetBlue starts flying new Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood - Camaguey route

Posted: 08-Nov-16 09:35

Launching its latest set of new Cuba flights, JetBlue arrived to Camaguey for the first time ever last Thursday, marking this as the second Cuban city to be served by the American carrier. The first was Santa Clara, which the airline first touched down on 31st August, instantly making history as the first commercial service to be re-established between the U.S. and Cuba. With this latest addition, the airline marks another first, becoming the first U.S. airline to call at Camaguey.

JetBlue starts flying new Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood - Camaguey route

Last Thursday Camaguey welcomed the first regular commercial flight from the U.S. as JetBlue landed its first ever service connecting Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to the eastern Cuban province. Thus, Camaguey becomes the second Cuban city to be served by JetBlue after the company first launched direct flights to the island with their inaugural Fort Lauderdale/Florida - Santa Clara route which took off on 31st August 2016 and flew the U.S. Secretary of Transport on his first visit to Cuba.

Speaking of the newly launched service, President and CEO at JetBlue, Robin Hayes, said:

“Camaguey is the latest move in our commitment to Cuba following our historic first flight in more than 50 years from the U.S. earlier this year. With today’s inaugural flight to Camaguey, we bring low fares and our award-winning service to yet another new market where customers have faced expensive and complicated service for too long.”

Located to the east of Cuba, at about 350 miles from Havana, Camaguey’s colonial historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has plenty to lure travellers to its tinajones-filled streets, with tales of pirates invasion and crooked narrow, maze-like alleyways in which to get lost.

Talking about all the work carried out leading to this moment, Mr Hayes was quick to commend the work of U.S. officials and their Cuban counterparts. He expressed his appreciation of the IACC (The Cuban Institute of Civil Aviation), the Cuban Ministry of Transportation and the Camaguey Airport (CMW) for their help in operating this route successfully.

“[We] look forward to our long-term partnership as we continue to grow our presence in Cuba.”

As part of the package, JetBlue includes health insurance (legally required to enter Cuba) in the cost of their tickets to Cuba as well as tourist cards effective from the day of travel to Cuba and picked up at check-in on the day of the flight. American travellers however, are reminded that they still must qualify under one of the 12 approved categories for travel to Cuba, as outlined by the U.S. government.

In the meantime, JetBlue is pushing for the addition of more flights to Cuba, continuing their plea for the DOT to reconsider approving their proposed Boston-Havana route, which was initially rejected in favour of granting Alaska Airlines their requested Los Angeles-Havana route, which now looks unlikely to happen until January 2017. Alaska Airlines asked the DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) to delay the launching date of the new service to Cuba, which technically breaks the rules of the DOT’s requirement to start operating the newly granted routes before 29th November.

This is where JetBlue swoops in and asks the DOT to approve their Boston-Havana service instead, which they are prepared to have fully operational before the deadline. It’s only a matter of time before the DOT gets back to both airlines with a final response. We’ll keep you updated, whatever happens. 


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