MIAMI/FT.LAUDERDALE: September 2, 2016. As Florida's first hurricane since 2005 arrived in the state's north-west coast this week, further south saw the start of three new services linking Miami with Bimini, Bahamas by Ft. Lauderdale-based Silver Airways; Cologne by Eurowings; and Paramaribo, Suriname by Surinam Airways.
Additional new Miami services before year-end will include SAS with flights to Copenhagen and Oslo; Dominican Wings to Punta Cana and Santo Domingo; KLM to Amsterdam and Italian airline Meridiana to Milan.
"With six new airlines launching service in the last four months of the year, and with the busy winter travel season approaching, we are looking forward to another record year at MIA," said Miami-Dade Aviation director Emilio González.
Another first this week was the start of JetBlue A320 services to Santa Clara, Cuba from Ft. Lauderdale - the first U.S. airline to operate scheduled services to the country in over 50 years. The inaugural flight (right) follows nearly five years of charter operations by the airline between several Cuban and U.S. cities.
"This historic flight symbolizes our long-term commitment to provide affordable, award-winning service between Cuba and the U.S," said Jet Blue president and CEO Robin Hayes. "For the first time in decades, families separated by only a short stretch of water can easily and affordably visit a loved one, attend an important occasion or visit a special place - and the role we play speaks directly to our mission of inspiring humanity."
In November the airline will add A320 services between Fort Lauderdale and Cuba's Camagüey-Ignacio Agramonte and Holguín-Frank País airports. JetBlue says it also plans to serve Havana with daily flights between Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and New York, JFK up to seven times a day.
UPDATE: September 07, 2016. This week American Airlines (AA) will begin scheduled services from Miami to the Cuban cities of Cienfuegos, Holguin, Camaguey, Santa Clara and Varadero. With scheduled service to Havana expected to begin later this year, AA will operate a total of 84 flights a week to the island from Miami.