American Airlines issued the following statement on the United States and Cuba reaching an arrangement that will permit scheduled air service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years.
“This announcement is great news for our customers as it brings us one step closer to connecting the U.S. and Cuba with scheduled air service,” said American’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “As the leading carrier to the Caribbean and the leading U.S. airline to Cuba, we look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other American hubs. We appreciate the Administration’s efforts and the hard work of the U.S. negotiators to reach this arrangement.”
Charter Service to Cuba
American has operated charter service to Cuba since 1991 with flights from Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles to five Cuban destinations: Camagüey (CMW), Cienfuegos (CFG), Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG) and Santa Clara (SNU). American has been the leader in the U.S. to Cuba market for nearly 25 years. This year, American will operate approximately 1,200 charter flights to Cuba, more than any other U.S. carrier and a 9 percent increase from 2014.
On December 12, American expanded its reach to Cuba with the launch of new charter service, offering customers travel options between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana, and providing the only nonstop service between the West Coast of the U.S. and Cuba.
As a result of this announcement, American expects to submit a U.S.-Cuba service proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation and hopes for timely approval of its proposal to enable American to introduce scheduled service as soon as possible in 2016.
While plans for commercial service are finalized, American will continue to operate flights to Cuba by collaborating with our valued charter partners. For more information on the charter flights and current restrictions on travel, please visit aa.com/visitcuba. Although scheduled service will begin next year, this announcement does not affect travel restrictions currently in place for U.S. citizens.
American has served the Caribbean for nearly 45 years and is the leading U.S. airline in the region, operating more flights to more destinations than any other carrier. The airline operates up to 150 daily flights to 31 destinations in the Caribbean and in 2015 continued its expansion in the region with six new routes.
In June, American launched service from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub to Grand Cayman, and on December 18 and December 19 American began service from Los Angeles to Montego Bay, from Charlotte to Curacao and Puerto Plata, from Dallas/Fort Worth to Punta Cana, and from Chicago O’Hare to Punta Cana. On January 31, 2016, the airline is also slated to open its 32nd destination in the Caribbean and sixth in The Bahamas, San Salvador Island, with more to come soon.