Regular flights between the U.S. and Cuba could “commence sometime later this year,” the U.S. Government announced today in a press release.
Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin will travel to Havana on February 16 to sign a bilateral arrangement to re-establish scheduled air services between the United States and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.
The signing brings into effect the arrangement that was reached December 16, 2015.
This arrangement will continue to allow charter flight operations.
In 2015, more than 140,000 people from the United States visited Cuba – 50,000 more than in 2014.
The vast majority of them are Cuban-Americans, but the number of Americans has also increased, in spite of the embargo regulations that do not allow Americans to travel to Cuba as tourists.
“While U.S. law prohibits travel to Cuba for tourist activities, this arrangement will facilitate authorized travel, enhance traveler choices, and strengthen people-to-people links between the two countries,” read the release.
The expansion of authorized travel is part of the new approach to relation with the island, one that emphasizes engagement with the Cuban people.