Delta Kills Flights Between New York and Havana

May 29, 2018

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Cuba was supposed to be the next hot destination where Americans would flock — and airlines bet big on that hope. Air travel, however, hasn’t been the preferred form of travel to the island nation.

Delta has announced that it will be ending service between New York (JFK) and Havana (HAV). Delta currently flies between the cities once a week but will end the Saturday-only service on September 1, 2018, according to Routes Online.

The route was already thin, with Delta flying a smaller A319 that has a capacity of just 132 passengers. After September 1, the airline will only fly to Cuba from Miami (MIA) and its hub in Atlanta (ATL).

This continues the trend of airlines pulling out of the Cuban market. When flights started in early 2016 all major airlines jumped in with loads of flights expecting high demand from tourists, Cuban immigrants and those of Cuban descent. However, they over-hedged, and most airlines have had to cut back service over the last two years.

To make the situation worse, US President Donald Trump imposed new travel restrictions in 2017, making it harder for US tourists to visit the country — and getting to the country wasn’t easy in the first place. Delta actually said that the travel restrictions from the White House led to traffic on the New York – Havana route to diminish substantially.

However there is some positive news for Cuban tourism. Both American and JetBlue requested to increase their flight frequencies between the US and Cuba late last year. Cuba is also seeing a huge boom in tourism via cruise-liners — it even has plans to triple the size of its cruise terminal by 2024.

New Yorkers who want to fly nonstop to Havana will still be able to hop on a JetBlue or United flight. JetBlue still operates daily nonstop service from JFK and United flies daily between Newark (EWR) and the Cuban capital.

Featured image by @yellowillow via Twenty20.

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