JetBlue announced this week that the airline will begin flying to Cuba.
The move makes JetBlue the first major US airline to launch new service to the island nation since the US government eased travel restrictions last December.
The airline, along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and charter partner Cuba Travel Services, announced that starting July 3, JetBlue will operate a weekly charter flight between the Big Apple and Havana.
The new route comes on the heels of a trade mission to Cuba led by Governor Cuomo.
“The Governor’s trade mission is helping position JetBlue as the leading carrier to Cuba,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.
“Our first flight from JFK to Cuba brings JetBlue’s award-winning experience to Cuba-bound customers and offers new direct travel options from New York, where many Cubans live today.”
According to the LA Times, travel arrangements and bookings will be handled by the charter company, while the actual flight will be operated by JetBlue, using its fleet of Airbus A320 jets.
In addition to the New York flight, JetBlue is also launching five additional routes from Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale to Cuba.
Limited charter flights between South Florida and Cuba have been going on for years. But scheduled service between the Big Apple and the Cuban capital was not offered until earlier this year when Cuba Travel Services began weekly flights from JFK International onboard Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Sun Country Airlines.
“We are very excited to partner with yet another prestigious carrier such as JetBlue,” Cuba Travel Services general manager Michael Zuccato said in a statement.
“A second JFK rotation will provide additional options for travellers in the Tri-State area as well as those connecting passengers that prefer a New York gateway to Cuba.”