Mexico´s Interjet Airlines Opens Weekly Flights to Central Cuba

Mexico´s Interjet Airline company it will operate two weekly flights as of July 14 to the central Cuban city of Santa Clara.

The announcement by the Cuban Tourism Ministry explains that the flights will be operated by A-330A airbus planes departing the Mexican capital.

Meanwhile, Interjet general director Jose Luis Garza stressed the opening of the new route to strengthen his company´s leadership in flights to the Caribbean nation.

The first flight will bring Interjet directives, tour operators and journalists and will be welcomed in Santa Clara by the local tourism authorities.

Mexico ranks 10th among Cuba´s tourist markets and the opening of the new Interjet connection joins others that connect Havana to Mexico City, Cancun, Merida and Monterrey, as well as another one between the Mexican capital and the popular tourist center of Varadero in western Cuba.

(Cuban News Agency)

US Authorizes Flights to Cuba to Eight Commercial Airlines

US Authorizes Flights to Cuba to Eight Commercial Airlines

The government of the United States authorized eight commercial airlines to fly to Havana officially, as announced by US Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx Thursday.

The airlines that obtained the authorization for flights to Havana are: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines y United Airlines.

The flights to Havana by these US airlines will take off from airports in Atlanta (Georgia), Charlotte (North Carolina), Houston (Texas), Los Angeles (California), Newark (New Jersey), New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa (Florida).

United Airlines made pressure, unsuccessfully, for the creation of a direct flight from Havana to Washington DC to connect the two capitals and assure the transportation of diplomatics, politicians and congressmen.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the services were assigned to cities that have populations with significant presence of Cuban émigrés and important centers of air traffic.

In February, Cuba and United States signed an agreement to restore regular air service to the greater of the Antilles, which is still subject to numerous restrictions in laws that support the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington for more than half a century.

(Prensa Latina)

Senate panel approves lifting Cuba travel ban

A Senate panel easily approved a spending bill amendment on Thursday that would lift a travel ban preventing American tourists from flying to Cuba.

Prior to advancing the fiscal 2017 spending bill for financial services and general government, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted four separate amendments related to travel and trade with Cuba.

One amendment approved by voice vote would prohibit federal funds from being used to restrict air travel to Cuba. The language is backed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

Read more:

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/283784-senate-panel-approves-lifting-cuba-travel-ban

Unrestricted Cuba travel getting closer

Unrestricted Cuba travel getting closer

The snowball effect of Cuba travel is already being felt in the U.S. Senate. The officialcongressional website reveals that 51 out of 100 U.S. senators support the elimination of laws and regulations that prevent U.S. citizens from traveling to Cuba. A majority of U.S. senators favor the Freedom to Travel Act of 2015 co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona) and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy (Vermont).

If passed, the law would also permit tourist travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba, something that is not currently allowed. For passage, the bill would have to get the OK from the Senate who then would send it to the House of Representatives where there are currently 127 of 435 representative co-sponsoring legislation similar to the senate bill. Cuba followers predict that the law currently would be favored in the House; but this is not as clear as in the Senate.

In a report by the news agency Efe, James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of companies and organizations against the Cuban embargo, was quoted as saying that “There has never been as much support for a bill on Cuba. Now we can say firmly that a majority in the Senate supports it.” He adds that the legislation should pass the Senate vote in the coming months.

Read more:

http://progresoweekly.us/unrestricted-cuba-travel-getting-closer/

German Airline Air Berlin To Fly to Havana

The German airline Air Berlin will shortly begin flights to Havana, adding two flights a week from Dusseldorf to the Cuban capital city, said the Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) in Cuba.

The new flights will start on May 28th, offering “excellent opportunities to continue strengthening ties between Cuba and Germany,” said Mintur.

Mintur said in a press conference that such actions confirm the preference of Germany for Cuban destinations.

According to Mintur, Air Berlin will operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The new flights will have capacirty for more than 1,400 people each week, and the number of seats from Germany will increase to 4,700 after adding the flights of Condor and Eurowings, said Mintur.

According to Mintur, Germany is among the three main sources of tourists to Cuba. The number of German tourists in 2015 reached 175,264, for a 26-percent growth compared to 2014, said the source.

(Prensa Latina)

Havana, a tourist capital

The 36th edition of Cuba’s International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2016, saw the highest number of participants ever, with representatives from more than 50 countries, together with those attending the 60th World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional Commission for the Americas, which was also held in Havana.

Havana itself is particularly recognized as a tourist destination during FITCuba. Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero described the capital as a beautiful city, that distinguishes Cuba from the rest of the world, reflecting a fusion of races, customs, rich heritage, culture and history.

During his opening remarks, Marrero noted the arrival of 3,524,779 international visitors to the island in 2015, representing growth of 17%, as well as a 13% increase in the number of tourists staying in facilities affiliated with the Ministry of Tourism.

Read more:

http://en.granma.cu/tourism/2016-05-04/havana-a-tourist-capital

First U.S. cruise ship arrives in Cuba for historic voyage

CUBA-HAVANA-U.S.-CRUISE SHIP

U.S. cruise ship, Adonia, docked on Monday at Havana harbor, becoming the first U.S. cruise ship to cross the Florida Straits in more than half a century.

About 700 passengers, including some Cuban-Americans, arrived on the ship, which belongs to American company Carnival, were warmly greeted by local residents waving flags from both nations.

The move represents another step forward after U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, announced a historic rapprochement in December 2014.

“Everybody is so excited that we are here. We are so humbled and proud as a corporation to be the first to come from America. It is a tremendous experience,” said Carnival CEO Arnold Donald.

Read more:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-05/03/c_135329915.htm