Southwest starts regular commercial flights to Havana
Southwest Airlines made its first regular commercial flight to Havana bringing 156 passengers thus joining JetBlue, Silver Airways, Delta and American Airlines, which were the first to reopen the US-Cuba connection closed over the past fifty years.
Southwest will announced three flights a day, two from Tampa and one from Fort Lauderdale, two cities in the US state of Florida at a cost of 59 dollars a ticket.
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 province, 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 as he noted that they will dedicate to flying to Cuba for many decades to come.
Meanwhile Hector Sardiñas, director of the Jose Marti International Airport, which received the first Southwest flight, told reporters that the exchange in his sector show the business opportunities despite the limitations still being posed by the US blockade of the island.
The blockade prevents US nationals from traveling here on tourist visas, they must apply for 12 general licenses approved by the Obama administration, he noted.