In another milestone in improving air service between the United States and Cuba, an American Airlines jet took off Monday morning on the first regularly scheduled flight between Miami and the Cuban capital in more than half a century.
The Havana-bound 737 plane, which took to the air at 7:30 a.m., is carrying 145 passengers. As passengers waited at the gate, AA treated them to pastelitos, cupcakes emblazoned with the airline logo, and coffee.
American and several other airlines began flying regular routes to several Cuban cities outside the capital in late summer, but Monday’s flight was the first of the new Havana-bound service and the first of four daily flights American plans from Miami International Airport to Havana.
The new flights are part of the Obama’s administration’s opening toward Cuba, but their future could be in jeopardy depending on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cuba policies. He has said he will unravel changes made by President Barack Obama unless Cuba makes political changes.
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The American Airlines launch kicks off a week when there will be a flurry of first flights from U.S. airports to Havana.
JetBlue plans to start its twice-daily service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Havana on Wednesday and from Orlando on Tuesday.
Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines will begin service from Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, and Delta Air Lines will also launch service from Miami, New York’s JFK and Atlanta to Havana on Thursday.
Southwest will begin offering twice-daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Havana on Dec. 12.