Flying to Cuba is about to get easier!

Good news! On Tuesday, the United States and Cuba signed an aviation agreement making regularly scheduled flights between the two counties possible for the first time in almost 50 years!

Deal opens 110 flights to Cuba on U.S. carriers

The agreement opens 110 flights to Cuba from the U.S. Of those, 20 will be to Havana and the remaining slots will be split between Cuba’s 9 other airports (10 daily flight each).

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U.S Air Service To Cuba Returns
Credit: George Petras, USA TODAY

The Associated Press writes this announcement opens “a 15-day window for U.S. airlines to request rights to the new Cuba routes. U.S. carriers would then have to strike deals with Cuban aviation officials, a process the U.S. hopes will be complete by the fall.” Let the competition begin!

Which airlines will you be able to fly to Cuba this fall?

JetBlue is among the many major U.S. carriers announcing their intent to apply for available flights. “JetBlue eagerly awaits the opportunity to grow our service with regularly scheduled routes between various U.S. and Cuban cities,” Rob Land, JetBlue’s senior vice president government affairs, said in a statement. “We hope the next dots on our Caribbean route map will be regularly scheduled service to and from Cuba.”

In addition to JetBlue, American, Spirit, Delta, United, and Southwest have all announced their intent to apply for flights to Cuba.

12 categories of authorized travel

Even as restrictions to Cuba are eased, U.S. travelers must still certify theirs trip are for one of 12 purposes.

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

Tourism itself is not permitted. But the only existing flights to Cuba are sold by charter outfits. Regularly scheduled passenger flights that are sold and marketed by the big U.S. carriers are sure to ease trip planning.