U.S. Transport Secretary, Anthony Foxx, will travel to Cuba on August 31 to meet with officials from the island, reported Deputy Minister of Development at Cuba’s Transport Ministry, Eduardo Rodríguez, August 29.
That same day regular direct commercial flights between the two nations will officially resume with the arrival of a JetBlue Airbus A-320 to Santa Clara International Airport, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as part of the implementation process of the Memorandum of Understanding between Cuba and the United States, signed in February, 2016.
According to Rodríguez, Foxx expressed interest in meeting with his Cuban counterpart Adel Yzquierdo and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez in Havana, where they will have the opportunity to discuss bilateral issues.
The Cuban official described the reestablishment of direct commercial flights between both countries as a positive step and contribution to the current process of rapprochement underway between the two nations, also noting that work is being carried out in collaboration with U.S. authorities to establish Cubana de Aviación flights to that country.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Cordero, president of Cuba’s Civil Aviation Institute (IACC), noted that the island is ready to assume the increase in flights to international airports across the island with the necessary operational and flight security.
He recalled that Cuba has been working with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration for over 15 years.
Silver Airways flights are due to begin operating to Santa Clara on September 1; while American Airlines will fly from the 7th to the provinces of Holguín and Cienfuegos, followed by Camagüey, Villa Clara and Matanzas in subsequent days, for a total of 11 daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba.
Both representatives reiterated that the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington on the Caribbean island continues to be an impediment to the normalization of relations in the field of civil aviation, as it prohibits U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba for tourist purposes.