The FINANCIAL — After successfully launching the first Havana-bound flight on a major airline from New York since travel restrictions were eased this year, JetBlue and Cuba Travel Services (CTS) on September 28 announced the addition of a second JetBlue charter flight connecting the two cities with nonstop service. The expansion of the JetBlue-CTS schedule comes shortly after the U.S. further eased restrictions by allowing approved travelers to Cuba to travel with close relatives.
The roundtrip charter flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV) will operate every Tuesday beginning December 1, 2015. The existing JetBlue-CTS flight operates every Friday, giving New York customers more flexibility in their travel plans, according to JetBlue.
“Even as the world anticipates what future air travel to Cuba will look like, we recognize that many Americans need to travel there today,” said Scott Laurence, senior vice president airline planning, JetBlue. “We want JetBlue to be the favorite airline for travel to Cuba — more frequencies with our charter partners and our unmatched onboard experience position us perfectly to be the airline of choice.”
JetBlue has doubled its number of charter flights to Cuba since travel restrictions have eased, and is the only major airline operating charter flights from New York.
“Cuba Travel Services is excited for all the positive changes allowing more Americans to visit Cuba. We are offering more flexibility to our travelers with this second rotation and introducing our new online booking engine at www.CubaTravelServices.com, which will allow passengers to reserve and purchase their tickets in real time,” said Michael Zuccato, General Manager at Cuba Travel Services. “Our partnership with JetBlue will facilitate the high quality travel experience our clients have grown accustomed to.”
Through its charter partners, JetBlue flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa. All flights are operated on 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft with JetBlue crewmembers and the same JetBlue experience as scheduled service, including free Fly-Fi broadband internet, the most inflight entertainment, free snacks and soft drinks, and the most legroom in coach.
When scheduled service is allowed, Cuba will play an important role in JetBlue’s network in the Latin America and the Caribbean, where it has quickly become a leading airline with its friendly service and competitive fares. The airline has built valuable experience operating in Cuba since 2011 with its charter program, and has plans for service from multiple cities ready to go.