For the first time in over 50 years, airlines were able to schedule and operate flights between the U.S. and Cuba.
The historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuba was announced in February and allowed for 20 daily flights to Havana and then an additional 10 daily flights to nine other Cuban airports.
Airlines like American Airlines and Southwest Airlines quickly filed their applications with the U.S. Department of Transportation asking for dozens of flights to the island nation.
Within months, the DOT granted eight airlines the rights to fly to Havana and also authorized routes to other Cuban airports to six airlines. American had hoped to offer nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Havana but was not awarded the route.
JetBlue Airways was the first to launch its service with a nonstop flight between Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara, Cuba. American and others followed with their new service as well.
However, consumers haven’t been buying up tickets on these new Cuba flights as much as airlines anticipated. American is already cutting capacity on the routes this spring as well as using smaller aircraft on some of the flights.