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Commercial Flight to Cuba from the US

Linda Jacky Cuba, Flights To Havana

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Commercial Flights to Cuba in 2016

Following President Obama’s announcement that the United States would begin relaxing its restrictions against this long-isolated nation, many travelers have wondered when commercial flights to Cuba would become readily available. At long last, it seems as if that day is just around the corner. Josefina Vidal, the head of North American affairs for Cuba’s foreign ministry, has claimed that both countries will soon be releasing information on a preliminary agreement. State Department spokeswoman Kerry Humphrey has also stated that both governments “are making progress but still negotiating.”

Ever since the strict financial embargo following the Cold War, there have been no commercial flights to Cuba from the US. As an alternative, travelers have to work with multiple agencies such as the U.S. Treasury before getting a ticket for a chartered flight. This often requires shipping paperwork back and forth between the two countries in order to be approved for a visa. People to people travel to Cuba has helped to simplify this process, but travelers might soon be able to book a direct flight from major airports throughout the United States.

This biggest roadblock in the recent negotiations has been the Castro regime’s request for reparations due to the embargo that was put in place by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. These reparations could be as high as $120 billion depending on exactly what takes place during the negotiations.

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Trips to Cuba from the USA are now easier than ever with People-To-People travel programs

If this embargo is dropped or the restrictions are loosened, there will be up to 20 flights to Havana each day with ten additional flights for every international airport on the island. This would bring the grand total up to 110 flights per day between these two countries. On an average day, Cuba currently receives less than 30 international flights. For American tourists, these chartered flights are carefully monitored and require written authorization from both countries. Even after receiving authorization, travelers must arrive at the airport up to four hours before their flight to have their belongings carefully inspected.

While the restrictions can be overwhelming, Cuba has actually seen a huge surge in American visitors with many tourist companies now working at capacity. Hundreds of hotels and hostels throughout the island are booked months in advance.

flights to cuba from the US

Future Relations

The relationship between the United States and Cuba has been improving, but there are still quite a few questions up in the air. This includes billions of dollars in property that was seized by the Cuban government during the communist takeover. There are also quite a few unanswered questions involving fugitives currently residing in both countries. Even with all of these unanswered questions, however, American travelers that would like to explore the rich history of Cuba might find it much easier to do so in 2016.

These recent announcements come just one year after President Obama first met with President Raul Castro following 50 years of almost no political interaction between the two countries. Both sides have also opened up embassies and started to discuss subjects ranging from environmental protection acts to drug trafficking.