A JetBlue Airways plane (Photo by Planespotters.net)
The American airline, JetBlue Airways, is scheduled for next week to make the first regular commercial flight between the United States and Cuba after more than half a century.
Authorities in Cuba made the announcement on Thursday, saying, the inaugural flight on August 31 is the first of its kind since the early 1960s and is due to take off from Fort Lauderdale in the US state of Florida and land in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara.
"The revival of regular direct flights is a positive step and a contribution to the process of improving relations between the two countries," Cuban Deputy Transportation Minister Eduardo Rodriguez said to local media.
The move is to initiate a new flight schedule which includes 110 daily trips, with 90 already authorized by both governments to nine Cuban airports.
“Twenty daily routes to Havana are pending, with airlines requesting the US authorities to triple that number,” Rodriguez added.
A JetBlue Airways plane (Photo by Planespotters.net)
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and placed an official embargo against the country in 1962.
The two countries became ideological foes soon after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power and their ties remained hostile even after the end of the Cold War.
The two countries held 18 months of secret talks that led to a joint announcement on December 17, 2014, that the two long-time adversaries would restore diplomatic relations and release prisoners on both sides.
The United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015. Despite this, Washington continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, which makes it illegal for US corporations to do business with Cuba.