Havana, July 8 (RHC)-- Eight U.S. airlines have tentatively been awarded flights to Havana, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Thursday.
Regular airline service between the U.S. and Cuba had been banned for nearly five decades, under the restrictions of the U.S. blockade. As part of a process of normalization of the bilateral ties, begun in December 2014, Cuba and the U.S. agreed last year for up to 110 regularly scheduled daily flights by U.S. airlines to destinations on the island.
The U.S. Department of Transportation had reportedly held off on its decision for the Havana destination because interest from U.S. airlines far exceeded the 20 daily flights permitted under the new regulations.
According to Thursday's announcement, American Airlines received the highest overall number of daily flights to Havana. Other U.S. airlines approved for the Havana flights are Delta, JetBlue, United, Southwest, Alaska, Frontiers and Spirit airlines.
While the new regulations expand the opportunities for travel from the U.S. to Cuba, U.S. citizens cannot visit the island as tourists. Only those traveling under 12 categories designated by the U.S. Treasury Department are legally allowed to make the trips.