United States Explores Expanding Flights to Cuba

The newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US government is working with the Cuban authorities to reach an agreement to reopen commercial flights between the two countries before the end of the year

By: Juventud Rebelde

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-08-19 | 21:02:04 EST
The newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US government is working with the Cuban authorities to reach an agreement to reopen commercial flights between the two countries before the end of the year.The newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US government is working with the Cuban authorities to reach an agreement to reopen commercial flights between the two countries before the end of the year. Photo: Yailín Alfaro GuillénZoom
WASHINGTON, August 18. The US Government is continuing to explore and working on "several options" to increase trade, travel and flights to Cuba within the bilateral normalization process, said a spokesman for the White House according to EFE.

The spokesman said, on condition of anonymity, that the "expansion" of contacts between citizens of the two countries through an agreement permitting regular air transport has always been one of the objectives of the approach, but added that, for the moment, there is no announcement about a time limit for achieving it.

The newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US government is working with the Cuban authorities to reach an agreement to reopen commercial flights between the two countries before the end of the year.

The agreement being negotiated by the administration of President Barack Obama would enable airlines to establish regular flights between the United States and Cuba from December, according to official sources quoted by the newspaper.

The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said in turn that the United States "remains in contact with the Cuban government to establish scheduled air services, something that US airlines have said they are interested in offering to authorized travellers."

"We have not yet made any decision, and look forward to having technical talks in the near future," Kirby said in his daily press conference, according to EFE.

Americans are forbidden to travel as tourists to Cuba as part of the economic blockade imposed by Washington on Havana but according to the New York newspaper, the White House has not ruled out making use of the executive powers of Obama to ease other restrictions.

However, Kirby said that even if commercial flights are set, they will be limited to the 12 categories of Americans who can now apply to travel to Cuba, while Congress does not lift the veto on regular tourism.

Travel from the US to Cuba has increased by 35 percent since January, according to the State Department, and establishing commercial flights "would provide more options" to travellers who are allowed to visit the island, according to Kirby.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the government expects with these kinds of movements that the normalization of relations, including travel to the island, is so broad that it could end up being "too politically risky" for the next US President revoke the changes, added EFE.

According to AFP, American Airlines announced that from December, it will begin offering a weekly charter flight from Los Angeles (California) to Havana.

"We are prepared to offer regular services as soon as the United States and Cuba allow commercial flights", Art Torno, vice president of international and cargo of American Airlines said in a statement quoted by EFE.

American will become the second commercial airline to take advantage of the easing of US restrictions on these journeys, after JetBlue launched charter flights between New York and Havana last month.

Translated by ESTI

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