Queuing for Cuba: US airlines eye services as relations restored
16 / 02 / 2016
US airlines are eyeing the launch of new services to Cuba following the thawing of relations between the two countries.
Yesterday at midnight, the diplomatic missions in Cuba and the US became full embassies for the first time since diplomatic relations were severed in 1961.
However, the trade embargo stopping US companies trading in Cuba remains in place.
The opening of embassies has encouraged American Airlines and United to consider new services as they look to capitalise on the restoration of diplomatic relations.
"The reopening of the US and Cuban embassies in Havana and Washington is an important step toward building new commercial relationships and re-establishing scheduled air service between the US and Cuba," said American Airlines chairman and chief executive Doug Parker.
"American Airlines has operated charter flights to Cuba for nearly 25 years and we stand ready to begin scheduled service when it’s allowed."
United Airlines meanwhile issued the following statement: "United Airlines congratulates the US and Cuban governments on the historic reopening of their embassies today in both countries’ capitals, which have been closed for more than a half century.
“We look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue with both governments about providing our customers service between our two nations, subject to government approval.”