JetBlue launched service to Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV) from three of the airline’s focus cities, with the first flight taking off this morning shortly after 9 a.m. from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
JetBlue’s service to Havana from Orlando begins November 29 and service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood begins November 30.
JetBlue flight 243 became the first commercial flight to Cuba from the New York area since scheduled service resumed this year and marked the first day of U.S. commercial service to the Cuban Capital in more than 50 years. The New York metropolitan area is home to the second-largest Cuban-American population in the U.S.
“JetBlue didn’t even exist when commercial service ended, and now we are a leading airline in Cuba and the Caribbean,” said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We are proud to touch down in Havana today on the very first day of commercial service between the U.S. and Cuba’s capital.”
JetBlue spokespeople made no comment about whether the airline was concerned that the incoming Trump administration would curtail its service to Cuba.
Scuttling the flights would throw a wrench in the plans of U.S. airlines, which expect an eventual payout from Cuban-Americans visiting relatives, leisure travelers desiring an experience that was once off limits, and executives buying business class fares to evaluate commercial opportunities in Cuba.
JetBlue was the first company to start service, with a flight on August 31 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Santa Clara.