14ymedio, Madrid, 20 September 2022 — JetBlue has one of the 14 flights to Cuba, and American Airlines (AA) now has 13. The United States Department of Transportation, which set a limit of 20 daily round trips to Havana, has thus resolved the dispute that occurred between the two companies to make more trips.
AA had six daily flights from Miami to the Cuban capital and in December will expand to 13, while JetBlue adds one more to the three it has from Fort Lauderdale.
Since the Biden government revoked the rule of the Trump administration, which prohibited flights to Cuban cities other than the capital, AA began to request permission to expand operations, and in July obtained authorization to fly, beginning in November, to Santa Clara, Holguín, Varadero and Santiago de Cuba.
The airline said that the flights would improve “service and access between the United States and these points outside Havana, after more than two years during which such operations were suspended.”
In August, the Fort Worth-based company submitted a request to increase the route between Miami and Havana by two more daily flights, one morning and one afternoon, which meant 14 flights.
At that time, JetBlue decided to enter into dispute alleging that AA was taking a dominant position. “There is no justification in the public interest to grant additional U.S. flights as long as there is such a competitive imbalance,” argued the New York-based company, which was requesting a Saturday flight.
“Of all U.S. airlines, JetBlue has the least options to offer low-cost flights between South Florida and Havana on Saturdays, one of the most important days for travel in the Caribbean,” it added in its letter to the Department of Transportation.
American Airlines, however, argued that the additional flights “would maximize the benefits, by increasing capacity at the gateway with the increased demand for travel between the United States and Havana, while improving connectivity using American’s leading network in Miami.”
JetBlue, finally, has received what it wanted, although it benefits both airlines since they are in a merger process under the name of “Northeast Alliance,” which depends on the decision of a federal court.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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