New York Times: “Travel to Cuba Eases, but Airlines Will Miss Initial Rush”

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When I was reading the International New York Times at at the airport (formerly known as the International Herald Tribune), I came across this article that dealt with the US airlines intentions to enter the scheduled non-charter service between the US and Cuba.

Ner York Times Travel to Cuba Eases, but Airlines Will Miss Initial Rush

Most of the free world have been free to travel to Cuba, except the US citizens as the country (Cuba) has been on the economic sanctions list. This is now slowly changing (about time).

You can access this New York Times piece here and another one published today about business travel to the island that you can access here.

READ MORE: LifeMiles Award Ticket Success: Copa Panama – Havana

Here’s an excerpt:

The Obama administration this week lifted some travel and trade restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba, but commercial airlines will not be flocking to Havana for at least another year, experts say.

The new rules, which took effect on Friday, removed the need for travelers to get approval from the United States government before traveling to Cuba. Now, many more are able to travel legally, spend more money on the island, buy Cuban cigars and increase remittances to their families there.

But before airlines can schedule direct flights to Havana and other airports, the two countries must still negotiate a new air service agreement.

Until that happens, travelers will have to rely on charter flights booked through specialized travel agencies, and that is not expected to change for the next 12 to 18 months, according to travel experts and industry officials. The timeline could be further complicated by opposition in Congress as well as the presidential election next year, which could delay matters in unpredictable ways.

READ MORE: Whine Wednesdays: Internet Access In Cuba

Conclusion

I have been to Cuba twice and the hotel infrastructure in the Havana is simply put, terrible, and way overpriced to what ir should be. Many Canadians and Europeans flock to those all-inclusive resorts in places such as Caya Coco and Varadero.

As the New York Times article notes, there has been scheduled charter flights to Cuba from the United States, but you used to need permission to travel on them. Many Americans visited the island by going via Mexico, Canada or any of the Caribbean islands that have air service to Cuba.

Hopefully, this lifting of the economic sanctions will also speed up the internet, although some of the slowness is probably due to the government itself and the lack of undersea connectivity (all traffic is routed through Venezuela).

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