US and Cuba agree to resume scheduled air services

17 December 2015 (Last Updated December 17th, 2015 18:30)

The US and Cuba have entered into a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries for the first time after the US trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1962.

The US and Cuba have entered into a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries for the first time after the US trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1962.

Last year, US President Barack Obama expressed desire to restore diplomatic ties that were broken after the Cuban revolution of 1959.

Though the US law continues to prohibit the US citizens to fly to Cuba for tourist activities, this arrangement will strengthen the civil aviation relationship between the countries, thus increasing the rate of authorised travel.

A present authorised charter flights that traverse between the US and Cuba are operated by carriers like Eastern Air Lines, JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta and Atlantic World.

This programme will continue to allow charter operations and see regular flights between the two nations facilitating an increase in authorised travel. It will also allow travellers have more flight choices and will encourage links among people of the US and Cuba.

Easing of travel restrictions between the two countries will allow ordinary Americans to visit Cuba under 12 broad categories without permission from the Treasury Department.

JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines have welcomed the US Department of State's announcement.

JetBlue Airways has already added a second charter flight connecting the US to Cuba, doubling flights to the Caribbean island nation since travel restrictions have eased.

This development has made JetBlue the first major carrier to announce a new flight to Cuba from New York in May this year.