WASHINGTON (WSVN) — As part of the United States’ historic effort to restore relations with Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed to select eight U.S. airlines to begin regular scheduled flights to Havana.
According to the DOT, the airlines would begin scheduled flights between Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando, and Tampa and Havana as early as this fall.
While dozens of U.S. airlines applied for the chance to operate scheduled passenger and cargo flights to Cuba, only eight were selected in the proposal. The airlines selected to receive the tentative awards are:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- United Airlines
Under this proposal, each country will be able to operate up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and Havana, as well as 10 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and Cuba’s nine international airports.
The DOT said they have chosen only eight airlines in order to “maximize public benefits, including choosing airlines that offered and could maintain the best ongoing service between the U.S. and Havana.”
According to the DOT, the new arrangement will help give passengers more options and will promote competition between the airlines.
“Today we take another important step toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage Cuba,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Restoring regular air service holds tremendous potential to reunite Cuban American families and foster education and opportunities for American businesses of all sizes.”
The DOT expects to reach a final decision later this summer.
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