Several Airlines Detail Havana Routes and Inaugural Flight Dates
Update 10/13/16: Southwest announced that it will begin its Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Varadero (VRA) service on November 13, 2016, as well as its FLL and Tampa (TPA) service to Havana (HAV) on December 12, 2016. Now through November 20, 2016, the carrier is offering a promotional starting prices of $59 one-way on nonstop flights to and from Cuba for travel between November 13, 2016 and April 24, 2017 — including all inaugural flights.
Update 9/28/16: It appears that American Airlines will beat United to Havana by one day, with nonstop service from Miami launching November 28.
Additionally, Alaska Airlines has confirmed that it will launch daily service from Los Angeles to Havana on January 5, 2017, with the following schedule:
Update 2: You can now redeem United miles for round-trip flights to Cuba, but with these awards priced at 35,000 miles + $47 round-trip, you're probably better off paying cash.
Update: Some airlines have begun selling tickets to Havana, including United, which may actually be the first airline to operate a flight from the US to HAV on November 29, 2016. United's fares from Newark to Havana start at $387 round-trip, including the November 29 inaugural:
Yesterday, for the first time in more than 50 years, a commercial flight from the US to Cuba took off and landed on the island nation around 11:00am ET. Since the US and Cuba have improved relations over the past year and have loosened restrictions for US travel to the country, airlines have jumped at the opportunity to launch new routes. The Department of Transportation has now approved all routes to Havana (HAV), and airlines are releasing frequencies, schedules and when tickets will go on sale.
Not all of the approved carriers have released information regarding their routes to Havana — specifically, American, Frontier and United. Stay tuned to TPG for coverage as carriers continue to announce their Havana routes and schedules.
Alaska Airlines announced that it will begin daily service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Havana (HAV) once it receives official approval from the Cuban government. It also reminded passengers that travel to Cuba must fall under one of 12 approved travel categories.
Interestingly enough, the flight will originate in Seattle (SEA) before continuing on to LAX and then on to HAV. In the carrier's release, it detailed the daily schedule:
- AS286 Seattle (SEA) 5:00am Departure ⇒ Los Angeles (LAX) 7:40am Arrival
- AS286 Los Angeles (LAX) 8:50am Departure ⇒ Havana (HAV) 4:55pm Arrival
- AS287 Havana (HAV) 5:55pm Departure ⇒ Los Angeles (LAX) 9:00pm Arrival
- AS287 Los Angeles (LAX) 10:50pm Departure ⇒ Seattle (SEA) 1:28am Arrival
Delta Air Lines
Yesterday, Delta announced that it will begin daily service to Havana (HAV) from Atlanta (ATL), Miami (MIA) and New York (JFK) on December 1, 2016.
These routes with Delta aren't bookable as of yet, and they'll go on sale September 10, 2016. There's no word yet on the departure and arrival times of these daily flights. In its release, the carrier is reminding travelers that all of its routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval as well as the fact that travel to Cuba must fall within one of the 12 designated categories.
Yesterday, JetBlue became the first airline to fly between the two countries on its flight from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Santa Clara (SNU). In its release celebrating the inaugural flight, the carrier also detailed its tentative plans to fly to Havana (HAV).
JetBlue stated that Havana routes are still subject to approval from the Cuban government.
Southwest issued a short release, stating that it's planning to receive the DOT's approval for its Havana routes.
Southwest intends to service Havana (HAV) with a combined three daily flights from Tampa (TPA; once daily) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL; twice daily). In its release, the carrier mentioned that it will release its fares and flight schedule in the coming days.
Update: Tickets are now on sale, with the first flight beginning December 1, 2016. Fares seem to be consistent at $92 on the outbound leg and $82 on the return for a total of $174. Keep in mind that this is Spirit, so you'll be charged for things that are complimentary on other airlines.
Spirit Airlines released its Havana schedule and a starting date — December 1, 2016. The low-cost carrier will offer twice-daily service to Havana (HAV) from Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
Spirit mentioned that it's still waiting on the approval of the Cuban government, but it plans for tickets to go on sale today. As of this writing, tickets are still not available on the carrier's website. Again, travel must fall into one of the 12 categories.
Stay tuned to TPG for continued updates on Havana travel.