Additional U.S Airports to Provide Options for Cuba Holidays
Tampa International Airport is among eight airports in the United States that have been given the go-ahead to provide charter flights for travellers heading off Cuba holidays, with flights scheduled to start by the end of the summer 2011.
Tampa International Airport is one of eight additional airports in the United States to have been awarded the operation of flights to Cuba, joining the likes of New York, Miami and Los Angeles who until now were the only airports to offer the routes to this Caribbean destination from the U.S.
Earlier this year, President Obama relaxed restrictions on Cuba travel for American residents for religious, academic, educational, and cultural purposes or to conduct business within the medical and agricultural sectors.
The eased restrictions have led to an increase in demand for charter flights to the Caribbean island from U.S airports and until recently only Los Angeles, New York and Miami airports were allowed to offer Cuba flights.
Tampa International Airport is one of the first to be awarded the new routes and the other seven U.S airports include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International; Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport; Dallas Fort Worth International; Louis Armstrong New Orleans International; O'Hare International in Chicago; Pittsburgh International, and San Juan Louis Munoz Marin International in Puerto Rico.
Erlinda Byrd, from the US Customs and Border Protection Customs office, stated: "More airports will be added to the list."
The flights from Tampa are expected to start from this summer or early autumn with plans to provide routes for holidays in Cuba at least once a week. So far, at least three charter airlines have shown an interest in operating flights between Cuba and Tampa.
Chief Executive of Tampa International Airport, Joe Lopano, said ticket prices have yet to be decided but the airport will not be adding special fees to the fares.
The introduction of new airports offering flights for holidays to Cuba is expected to bring competitive airfares as travellers are given more flight options from more local airports.
Delta Air Lines is currently licensed to operate charter flights to Cuba and is expected to provide a new additional service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Last year Obama’s administration eased restrictions of Cuba travel for Cuban-American residents and the new changes implemented earlier this year are expected to bring a welcome boost to Cuba’s tourism which will have a positive impact on Cuba hotels, attractions, and local businesses.
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