First commercial U.S.-Havana flight lands as country mourns Castro
Passengers erupted into applause as the first commercial flight from the United States to Havana in more than 50 years landed in Cuba, arriving as the island begins weeklong memorial services for revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
Cubans saluted the packed American Airlines flight by spraying water from firetrucks above the plane as it taxied along the runway at Jose Marti International Airport in honor of the inaugural voyage.
The visitors are arriving at the same time that tens of thousands begin paying homage to Castro in Havana.
For years U.S. travelers to the island have had to go through burdensome charter flights with four-hour check ins. The U.S. and Cuba signed a deal in February to restore commercial air traffic, marking one of the most important developments since Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama announced they would restore diplomatic relations nearly two years ago.