The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded United Airlines final approval to launch service to Havana from two of its hubs.
Beginning Nov. 29, United will start daily nonstop flights to the Cuban capital from New York/Newark and Saturday nonstop service from Houston with both services subject to government approval. Bookings are available immediately.
Since the DOT announced its preliminary Havana route awards in July, United has been working closely with the Cuban government to prepare for the start of its operation into José Martí International Airport.
This week, the DOT granted eight U.S. airlines permission to commence up to 20 scheduled daily flights between various U.S. cities and Havana.
Six months ago the U.S. and Cuba signed an agreement to re-establish scheduled air service between the two countries after nearly 60 years of restricted charter air service. This week’s announcement comes nearly two months after six US airlines were granted permission to fly to nine Cuban cities other than Havana.
The DOT’s decision requires that carriers begin services within 90 days of the final order’s issue date.
For scheduled passenger or all-cargo services to and from each of the nine non-Havana international airports in Cuba, DOT may allocate up to 10 daily round-trip frequencies at each airport, for a total of 90 daily flights. Including Havana, the total number of daily flights between the U.S. and Cuba can be 110.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the dedicated aviation professionals here at United who are working hard to get our historic Cuba service ready for takeoff in November,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO. “The final approval by the DOT reaffirms that our flights will ensure better choice, convenience and competition for all travelers on this important route, and I want to thank the DOT for their decision.”
Daily nonstop service from New York/Newark (EWR)
United’s daily nonstop flight from Newark Liberty International Airport will provide an important gateway to Cuba from the Newark/New York City region, the largest metropolitan area in the country and home to the second-largest population of Cuban Americans. For more than 20 years, United has offered the Newark/New York City region the most flights to the most destinations around the world.
Saturday nonstop service from Houston (IAH)
Bush Intercontinental will be an important gateway for service to Havana and will directly connect 20 markets across the central and western United States to Cuba with just one stop. The Cuban-American population in the Houston metropolitan area ranks among the top ten cities in the country.
United will operate both services with Boeing 737 aircraft.
Here are the non-Havana routes and airlines: