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U.S. Announces First Scheduled Air Cargo Service to Cuba

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Transportation issued June 10 an order authorizing six U.S. airlines to provide scheduled passenger or all-cargo service to cities in Cuba other than Havana from Miami, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. Most such flights (click here for a complete list) are planned to begin this coming fall and winter.

This authorization was granted under a bilateral arrangement that allows DOT to allocate up to 10 daily round-trip frequencies for scheduled passenger or all-cargo services to and from each of the nine international airports in Cuba other than Havana. DOT states that the requests to serve these airports were all under this daily cap and that as a result several opportunities remain available, with airlines able to apply for an allocation of the available rights at any time.

The arrangement also allows DOT to allocate up to 20 daily round-trip frequencies for U.S. carrier scheduled passenger or all-cargo services between the U.S. and Havana. However, U.S. carriers have collectively applied for nearly 60 flights per day to Havana, so DOT is currently reviewing the competing applications and expects to reach a final decision on the selection of carriers for those services later this summer.

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