American Airlines to start weekly charter flights between LA and Cuba
American Airlines will operate the first charter flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Jose Marti International Airport in Havana later this year, providing travelers the only nonstop service connecting the West Coast to Cuba since travel restrictions were eased. “American is the premier carrier in Los Angeles and throughout the Caribbean, and this new charter flight shows how we continue to expand our reach by offering new routes and services our customers want,” said Art Torno, American’s senior vice president as he made the announcement.
“We stand ready to offer scheduled service as soon as the United States and Cuba allow commercial flights.” American Airline’s new charter service will be sold by Cuba Travel Services – since, under the travel embargo, tickets have to be sold through a separate, specially authorized travel company rather than directly by the carrier – and will operate on Saturdays, beginning December 12, with Boeing 737 aircraft. In addition, American will operate a Saturday flight between Miami International Airport and Havana.
General Manager at Cuba Travel Services Michael Zuccato said his company was excited to expand its partnership with American Airlines.
“We will continue to deliver a high quality travel experience and opening up new West Coast access to Cuba will bring a convenient, affordable option to authorized travelers,” he said. As a result of the more than 50-year embargo on Cuba, only specified groups of Americans can travel to the Caribbean island. Authorized travelers include those going to visit family, or travelling for humanitarian projects, official US government business, journalistic activities, professional research or meetings, and religious activities. Regularly scheduled air service to Cuba is still prohibited.
American Airlines has operated charter flights to Cuba since 1991. Its new service would make it the second major US airline to take advantage of loosened restrictions on travel between the two countries. JetBlue launched direct charter flights between New York and Havana last month.
American flights to Cuba to begin in December.