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American Airlines wants to restart Miami flights to five cities in Cuba

Anna Jean Kaiser, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

American Airlines, the biggest flier from Miami International Airport, asked the U.S. Department of Transportation this week for clearance to resume flights to five destinations in Cuba, outside Havana where it already flies six daily flights from here.

The move could broadly open commercial air travel to the island, after strict limitations had been imposed in December 2019 by the former Trump administration to squash Cuban tourism.

The Biden administration lifted those limits on June 2. If federal permission is granted, American will start flight service in November between Miami and Santa Clara, Holguin, Matanzas/Varadero, Camagüey, and Santiago de Cuba.

The world’s largest airline said it plans to have two daily flights to Santa Clara, and a single daily flight to Holguin, Matanzas/Varadero, Camaguey, and Santiago de Cuba.

American Airlines said Friday in a prepared statement the additional flights to Cuba will “enhance service and access between the United States and other cities outside of Havana, as well as offer the best connectivity to Cuba via American’s Miami hub.”


In addition to American in South Florida, Southwest and JetBlue also operate flights to Havana from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. In 2016, travel to Cuba opened under the Obama administration, when the transportation department approved six U.S. airlines to fly to nine destinations there.

The Trump administration three years ago largely preserved the Obama-era strategy, when then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the transportation department to stop all non-Havana flights.

Pompeo cited the Cuban government’s continued repression of its people and support of Nicolas Maduro, leader of Venezuela whose presidency has been under dispute since 2019.

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