Traveling to Cuba has been a challenge for American tourists for decades. Monumental steps were made to improve relations by President Obama in 2015, as he eased the embargo between the two countries, opened an embassy in the Cuban capital of Havana, and made travel between the two countries possible. American tourism to the island jumped following the relaxing of relations between the two countries, but numbers declined sharply last fall following the election of President Trump, and looked to continue downward following a March 2 travel advisory issued from Washington.
But in a fortunate turn of events for travelers, many US airlines are looking to add additional flights to Cuba in the coming months. Despite a September travel warning from Washington, the US Department of Transportation has greenlighted additional flights from US cities including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Houston, and even Boston.
Both American Airlines and Delta plan to increase the number of flights departing from Miami, while United will switch from weekly to daily flights into Havana from Houston. JetBlue looks to increase flights from both Fort Lauderdale and Boston, and Southwest is adding flights from Fort Lauderdale.
Tour operators and prospective visitors are encouraged by the increase in flights, with hopes of a bolstering American tourism to the island following a downturn over the past six months. In addition to travel warnings and advisories, tourism to the Caribbean island slumped following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
The US Department of Transportation has released this prospectus of proposed additions, with a final decision on added flights being made following the close of an objection period on April 23:
American Airlines: once daily, Sunday-Saturday
Delta Air Lines: once daily, Sunday-Saturday
From Fort Lauderdale
JetBlue Airways: once daily Sunday-Friday
Southwest Airlines: once daily, Sunday-Saturday
United Airlines operated by Mesa Airlines: once daily Sunday-Friday
JetBlue Airways: once per week on Saturdays