HAVANA: February 18, 2016. Following the re-establishment of air services between the U.S. and Cuba after 50 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has invited U.S. air carriers to apply for a total of 110 daily roundtrip passenger and cargo services. A decision on who gets what is expected in late March.
The new agreement provides each country with the opportunity to operate up to 20 daily flights between the U.S. and Havana's José Martí International Airport (right), and a further 10 daily flights to each of Cuba’s nine other international airports. Existing charter flights and frequencies are not affected by the decision.
“We are excited to announce the availability of new scheduled air service opportunities to Cuba for U.S. carriers, shippers, and the traveling public, and we will conduct this proceeding in a manner designed to maximize public benefits,” said DOT secretary Anthony Foxx.
The air service agreement covers 12 categories authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. They are: family visits; U.S. government official business, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and “certain authorized export transactions”, according to the statement.