List of US Flights to Non Havana Cities in Cuba
The US gave initial approval for US flights to Cuba back in June. The next steps involved US airline getting approvals from Cuba. This has finally wound its way to conclusion. See my page on Getting to Cuba for overview of Cuba/US travel. US flights to non Havana cities are covered here.
These are the first commercial (non charter) US flights in decades. These first flights are non-Havana destinations. The Havana flights will take longer to sort. The airlines requested more than the allotted number of flights to this city, so negotiations were needed.
It actually seems more logical to start with other cities. There are many great destination cities with international airports in Cuba. Let’s start by spreading some of the people around.
These airlines, American, JetBlue Airways, Frontier, Southwest Airlines, Silver Airways, and Sun Country Airlines, are now approved to travel to nine Cuban cities.
The 20 daily flights between Havana and US cities will be determined at a later date.
Three resort areas opened up include Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, and Matanzas, which serves Varadero Beach.
The Santa Clara airport will serve the northern beaches. This “Revolutionary City” is also a gateway to Cayo Santa Maria beaches.
The other Cuban cities that DOT has authorized for commercial service from the United States include: Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, and Santiago de Cuba. See my Cuba Destinations page and map.
Now remember that “tourist vacations” are not theoretically allowed. You must check-off on your travel documents that you are going on a People-to-People tour, Educational tour, etc, one of the 12 allowed categories. These type travels are designed to promote engagement with the Cuban people
Fort Lauderdale and Miami will be the biggest hubs in the new commercial service to Cuba. The other U.S. cities that have been given Cuba routes at this point are Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
American Airlines has been approved for eight daily flights from Miami International Airport to Cuba. It has been authorized for twice-a-day service, using 160-seat planes, from MIA to both Santa Clara and Holguín, two flights daily to Matanzas using a 144-seat aircraft, and daily service to Camagüey and Cienfuegos.
Where does this leave the charter companies who in the past held the keys to Cuba access (or at least the legal access)? It is too early to say. My guess is that they will still get a lot of business from the Nervous Nelly’s who don’t want to fly & travel on their own to this mysterious country.
As more and more people go and report back though, the need for charters will decline. It will certainly be cheaper to fly on your own and book your own room. Getting around the country will be an adventure, but more options will appear to help the influx of American visitors.
The chart attached shows the initial airline approvals to the Non-Havana cities. Some of these have started; most are expected to be running by year end.
Click for a pdf of this US/Cuban Flight Chart.
Keep up to date on my posts on Cuba Flight News.