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U.S., Cuba Sign Arrangement Restoring Scheduled Air Service

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. and Cuban officials signed Feb. 16 an arrangement that provides for the re-establishment of scheduled passenger and cargo flights between the two countries for the first time in more than half a century. Under this arrangement U.S. carriers may operate up to 110 daily roundtrip flights between the U.S. and Cuba: 20 to Havana, and ten each to Cuba’s nine other international airports.

U.S. carriers may apply for an allocation of the new opportunities by March 2. DOT answers to applications are due by March 14 and replies to those answers are due by March 21. The arrangement does not limit charter services, meaning that no DOT allocation procedures are needed and charter flights can continue as before. 

The DOT states that in selecting which carriers will be able to offer scheduled flights to Cuba and from which U.S. points it will consider which proposals will offer and maintain the best service to the traveling and shipping public. Recognizing the eagerness of U.S. carriers to take advantage of these new opportunities, the department intends to reach a final decision as expeditiously as possible.

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