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Historic US-Cuba flights a win for Aussie travellers

Largest Caribbean country has never been closer

Until now, if an Australian wanted to travel to Cuba, they’d have to go through Canada or Latin America, doable exercises but not at all efficient.


Image Danita Delimont/Getty


Now, with the United States and Cuba set to sign an agreement to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in fifty years, Aussie travellers can look forward to flying a much more direct path through the US.


According to Associated Press, US officials said dozens of new flights would be operating daily by the next northern-hemisphere autumn.


Expected to be reached in the next couple of days, the deal will allow American carriers to bid on routes for as many as 110 daily US-Cuba flights, which is more than five times the number of charter services that operate at present.


Officials hope to apportion the routes to airlines by the US summer, allowing flights to begin by the time US President Barack Obama leaves office.


What you need to know about Cuba


Among the carriers who would bid on flights, which are capped at 20 a day to capital Havana, is American Airlines, who has been operating charter flights to Cuba since 1991.


American spokesman Matt Miller told AP the carrier plans to bid on routes from Miami and other unspecified “American hubs”.


Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for United Airlines, said United would look to serve Havana from some of its hubs, which include Chicago, Houston and Newark, while Delta Air Lines spokesman Anthony Black told AP Delta plans to at least apply for flights from its Atlanta hub to Havana.


Low cost carriers JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines have also expressed interest in serving Cuba.


Would commercial flights between US and Cuba tempt you to travel to the largest Caribbean nation?


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 15 February 2016

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