14YMEDIO, Havana/November 21, 2014 — The American agency Cuba Travel Services announced last Thursday that it will operate a direct flight between New York’s J.F. Kennedy Airport and Havana. It is envisioned that the trips will occur daily in the afternoon, although company workers have not been able to confirm either the departure days or the frequency of the flights.
Cuba Travel Services has not provided information about the date the service will begin, but it has announced that the price for a round trip ticket on the inaugural flight will start at $849.
The company organizes travel to popular destinations like Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba, with flights operated by Sun Country Airlines.
The Turbo News site explained this afternoon that “in the spirit of the recent New York Times editorial published October 11, 2014, entitled ‘Time to End the Cuban Embargo,’ the agency Cuba Travel Services chose to provide an important cultural and social link between the two cities.”
The agency maintains that the expansion of its offering will permit travelers who leave from New York to save as compared with the current options on the market, avoiding the delays of connections and the cost of additional fares for stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Tampa.
The company, which organizes daily flights between the US and Cuba, asked for permission to operate flights also from Newark Liberty International Airport, but that request was rejected.
The US government suspended direct air links with the Island at the beginning of the 1970’s and resumed them in 1999 with a flight between New York and Havana. After a slight opening by President Bill Clinton, Barack Obama also opted to soften restrictions on travel by Cuban Americans visiting the Island; now they can travel every year instead of every three and stay as long as they like.
In 2012 the Cuban government suspended landing rights on the Island for two airlines from Miami, Airline Brokers and C&T Charters, explaining the reason for the decision “as over capacity of seats and other operational issues,” although the travel agency operators revealed suspected payment defaults with Cuban authorities. Airline Brokers operated weekly flights to Havana and Cienfuegos from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, while C&T Charters traveled to Havana and Camaguey from Miami, New York and Chicago.
Translated by MLK