Future of Cuban travel scene looks unsure

Published on : Friday, June 9, 2017

cuban-tourismLess than a year after passenger flights restarted between the US and Cuba, the future of Cuban travel once again appears undecided.

Aviation leaders gathered in Cancun, Mexico and said that they are concerned that President Donald Trump may recall some political and economic restrictions between the two Cold War-era foes. The Trump administration is reviewing the Obama administration’s moves on easing restrictions on travel and investment in Cuba. Trump has criticized the agreements by Obama to soften relations with the Cuban government.

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac told reporters ahead of the June 4-6 conference “Restricting the network of aviation and access to Cuba would be bad news for aviation. Generally we welcome the extension of access to any country by plane.” The initial opening prompted a rush to launch flights into Cuba in mid-2016. Some of the early entrants have pulled out, including smaller carriers Frontier Airlines, Silver Airways and Spirit Airlines.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue have all requested increased frequency on various Havana routes. Those requests are in indeterminate state pending the administration’s review.

Eased travel restrictions have already dramatically reshaped Cuba’s tourism scene, including the Nacional Hotel, which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and entry to Havana Bay.

American visitors to Cuba could increase as much as sevenfold by 2025, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.


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