); US signs deal to resume flights to Cuba | Visit Cuba

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US signs deal to resume flights to Cuba

By Visit Cuba / Posted February 17, 2016

US airlines are lining up to resume flights to Cuba thanks to a U.S.-Cuba agreement to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in almost six decades.

 

According to The Telegraph, as many 110 flights a day will run from the United States to the island, significantly increasing the number of tourists and bring a boost to the economy, but posing problems for Cuba’s heavily booked tourist infrastructure.

 

Until now, charter flights had made around a hundred trips each a week mainly from Miami but scheduled airlines were not permitted. US citzens formally cannot travel to Cuba as tourists but, since Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced a re-establishment of diplomatic relations in December 2014, thousands of Americans have visited the island under booming schedule of specialized tours. Legally, Americans still have to fit one of the 12 categories approved for travel, such as for educational or religious activities, but violators appear to face little risk of being prosecuted. An estimated 160,000 US leisure travellers flew to Cuba last year, along with hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans visiting family,

 

In August, the two countries opened embassies in their respective capitals and all signs point to increasingly normalized relations. The new agreement reportedly allows 20 round-trip flights between US cities and Havana as well as up to ten daily round-trips to each of nine other airports in Cuba.

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