Southwest joins other U.S. airlines offering flights to Cuba
December 12, Southwest Airlines made its first regular commercial flight to Havana, with 156 passengers on board, thus joining four other U.S. airlines offering flights to Cuba
15 de diciembre de 2016 - Taken from Granma
Southwest Airlines made its first regular commercial flight to Havana, December 12, bringing 156 passengers to the island, thus joining JetBlue, Silver Airways, Delta and American Airlines, which were the first to reopen the US-Cuba route closed for the past fifty years.
Southwest announced three flights a day, two from Tampa and one from Fort Lauderdale, two cities in the state of Florida, at a cost of $59 dollars each way.
Company president Gary Kelly told reporters at the Havana airport that he was enthusiastic about this new link with Havana, since Southwest has already been flying to Varadero, Matanzas, while a next destination will be the central city of Santa Clara, on December 15.
The executive said he was satisfied about airport conditions here, and expressed interest in further expanding air services to Cuba.
Hector Sardiñas, director of José Martí International Airport, which received the first Southwest flight, told reporters that developments in the sector show that business opportunities exist, despite limitations still posed by the U.S. blockade of Cuba.
U.S. nationals are prohibited by law from traveling to the island as tourists; they must qualify within one of the 12 categories of travel approved by the Obama administration, he noted.