Miami-Havana scheduled flights resume amid uncertainty
MIAMI — The first regular commercial flight between Miami, the capital of Cuban exile in the United States, and Havana, Cuba, departed Monday Nov. 28 from Miami International Airport under a festive atmosphere.
The flight marks another milestone in improving relations between the governments of President Barack Obama and Raul Castro in Cuba, but its future could be compromised in terms of the policies toward Cuba adopted by President-elect Donald Trump, Notimex reported.
The tycoon has said he will reverse the changes made by Obama unless Cuba makes political reforms.
The American Airlines flight, with 145 passengers, departed at 07:30 local time (12:30 GMT), escorted with jets of water as is traditionally done with an inaugural flight.
As has become customary in recent months in which other American airlines that have started flights to other Cuban provinces, Cuban cupcakes, coffee and traditional cupcakes with the airline logo were included.
Other American airlines, such as Jet Blue, began flying regular routes to several Cuban cities outside the capital in late summer, but Monday’s flight was the first of the new service headed for Havana and the first of the four daily flights planned from Miami International Airport to Havana.
Other airlines including Jet Blue, Spirit and Frontier Airlines are also planning to make flights to Havana from Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida this week.
Delta Air Lines plans to begin service Thursday from Miami, New York and Atlanta to Havana.
American had inaugurated its regular flights between Mami and Cuba on September 7 with service to the provinces of Cienfuegos and Holguín.
The flights come after the thaw of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 and came to fruition in July 2015 with the reopening of the embassies of Washington and Havana.
Since 1961 after Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, and after that government declared itself socialist, diplomatic relations with the United States were broken and the service of direct commercial flights was interrupted.
In 2001 a change in US regulations allowed Cuban-Americans to visit relatives on the island through costly charter flights.
US law still prohibits most tourist visits to Cuba, however, President Obama has allowed exceptions for other types of travel, including family, official affairs, journalist visits, and educational trips.