As President Obama continues his historic visit to Cuba — the first time an American president has been to the Caribbean nation since 1928 — prices for direct airfare there are predicted to drop by nearly 50%.
Airfare prediction app Hopper found that rates will drop from current averages of $717 to about $364 as carriers upgrade capacity, demand increases, and travel restrictions are lifted completely.
The Obama administration’s decision to allow US air carriers to offer direct flights to Cuba — made last December — is in following with a growing list of changes including the opening of an American embassy in Havana and the restoration of direct mail service for the first time in 50 years.
A direct route from Miami could average as little as $275 if political relations are completely normalized, in following with the rates to most other Caribbean destinations, the study found.
Already, online searches for air travel options to Cuba has increased more than 500% from last year, signalling strong public interest in travel to the politically estranged nation.
Current travel regulations require that Americans travelling to Cuba do so for one of several specific reasons, including fully-scheduled cultural visits or journalism. While the former choice does give American citizens options for travel — albeit with various regulatory hoops through which to jump — it will likely take congressional action to fully end the American trade embargo.
Prices will, however, remain higher than those for most Caribbean destinations, and travelling via a third nation such as Canada or Mexico is still a cheaper option by about 20%, the study found.