Air China well-positioned to be pioneer in Cuba

After the US government lifted its 56-year embargo against Cuba in 2014, triggering a new round of investment on the island country, many US airlines have submitted applications to the US Department of Transportation to begin making commercial flights there.

In fact, before US airlines flocked to Cuba, Chinese carriers had already established a presence there. Air China started a direct route from Beijing to Havana at the end of 2015. The route, which flies three times a week, is the only direct route between the two countries.

United, American, Southwest, JetBlue and others have submitted letters urging the agency to approve as many as 20 daily round-trip flights to Havana and 10 daily round-trip flights to smaller airports around the country, according to media reports. The agency is expected to approve routes this summer.

As these US airlines fight over slots in Cuba, it makes one wonder what will be left for Chinese carriers.

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