It appears the weaker hands in the airline industry have given way to the major carriers’ long term plans for flying to Cuba.
United Airlines today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to increase from Saturday-only to daily nonstop service between its hub at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV).
United’s application states the airline can make efficient use of the available frequencies by establishing daily service between Houston and Havana on a year-round basis (subject to government approval).
“We received a tremendous outpouring of support from the community when we applied to serve Havana from Houston,” said Steve Morrissey, United’s vice president of regulatory and policy. “The early, successful results combined with the opening of our Havana city ticket office, are positive indicators that United is positioned to continue delivering the very best schedule for our customers in the U.S. and in Cuba.”
“United’s service has connected Houston businesses and communities to many opportunities and provided the ability for meaningful cultural exchanges,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Expanding this service will give more access to Houstonians and people connecting through our welcoming city to everything Havana has to offer.”
In addition to building on its successful Houston-Havana service, United proposes to begin its daily service on October 28 using either Boeing B737 mainline aircraft or Embraer E175 regional aircraft operated by Mesa Airlines doing business as United Express. The airline’s Embraer E175 two cabin regional jet offers 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats.
The E175 also offers more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft; a power outlet at each United First seat; United Wi-Fi; free access to a library of movies and TV shows that you can watch on your personal laptop, Apple iOS device or Android device, and large overhead bins that can accommodate standard-size carry-on bags.
United opens first city ticket office in Havana
Delivering on its commitment to provide customers in both countries choice, convenience and access to travel between the U.S. and Cuba, United recently opened its first city ticket office in Havana. The office now enables United to provide Cubans and other international customers the opportunity to purchase travel on United Airlines.
Currently serving Havana from Houston and Newark/New York
Since December 2016, United has provided service to Havana from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the airline’s gateway to Latin America. Bush Intercontinental is an important gateway to Havana and currently directly connects passengers to 20 markets across the central and western United States to Cuba with just one stop. The number of points in the central and western U.S. that would receive one stop service to Havana via Houston increases to 27 with the change to daily operations.
From Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), United offers daily nonstop service to the New York/Newark 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.