14ymedio, Havana, 31 August 2023 — The American airline JetBlue will suspend all flights to the Island on September 17, due to “changes in the regulatory landscape and restrictions on the ability of our customers to enter Cuba,” according to a statement from the company released by CNN on Thursday.
“We hope to resume our service to Havana and continue looking for opportunities within Cuba in case travel is more affordable in the future,” the company added.
The airline also announced that it will provide “full refunds to customers affected by the suspension.”
Stopping operations in Cuba, JetBlue said, will allow them to focus on “higher performance” routes where the service “is growing.”
JetBlue was the first airline to operate a commercial flight between the two countries in 2016 after more than 50 years of bans on traveling to Cuba from the United States. The air connection was a symbol of the thaw between the two nations that restored diplomatic relations in July 2015.
“We hope to resume our service to Havana and continue looking for opportunities within Cuba in case traveling is more feasible in the future.”
Since 2022, there have been several cases of Cubans living on the Island who have been prevented from flying from the United States. The Havana regime has notified airlines such as American Airlines and Southwest that some citizens cannot enter the country, as was the case with activists Anamely Ramos and Omara Ruiz Urquiola, who were not allowed to board return flights.
Nor has tourism to the Island been able to recover after the pandemic, and American travelers have opted for other destinations in the area, such as Cancun, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, due to the economic crisis that plagues Cuba, the high prices of its tourist packages, and the problems in basic infrastructure such as roads, shops and Internet connectivity.
14ymedio has received countless reports about practically empty flights that depart or arrive on the Island on the routes that link Cuban and American cities.
Last September, JetBlue submitted an application to increase its number of flights to Cuba to the U.S. Department of Transportation, obtaining 14 connections from South Florida.
Just in: @JetBlue -the company that flew the first direct commercial flight to Cuba during the thaw in relations- has suspended flights to the island due to “changes to the regulatory landscape and restrictions on our customers’ ability to enter Cuba.” pic.twitter.com/EkuDGHQaYj
— Patrick Oppmann CNN (@CNN_Oppmann) August 31, 2023
Translated by Regina Anavy
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