- Title: American Airlines readies office in Havana business district
- Date: 26th October 2016
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (OCTOBER 26, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS AMERICAN AIRLINES OFFICE EXTERIOR (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT, MIRIAM MOREJON, SAYING: "There are more opportunities. If you can't go one way, you can go through another agency and that gives people more options to go that route." ONE WORLD LOGO VARIOUS EMPLOYEES INSIDE OFFICE AMERICAN AIRLINES OFFICE EXTERIOR (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT, JOSE CABRERA, SAYING: "We see this as something positive, hopefully other airlines also start flying to Cuba." VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR AMERICAN AIRLINES OFFICE EXTERIOR MIRAMAR TRADE CENTRE
- Embargoed: 10th November 2016 14:35
- Keywords: Cuba American Airlines business flights
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00155N7Z2B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:American Airlines Group Inc opened an office in Havana's business district this week after the U.S. government in August granted the airline - together with eight other U.S. airlines - permission to begin scheduled commercial flights to the island starting this fall.
American Airlines was awarded 35 direct flights a week.
American, the biggest U.S. airline in Latin America by flights, was granted four flights a day from Miami and one from Charlotte, North Carolina.
JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O), Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) and United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.N) were also among those granted permission, with most proposing to begin services later this year or early in 2017.
Resident, Miriam Morejon, said she felt happy with the opening.
"There are more opportunities. If you can't go one way, you can go through another agency and that gives people more options to go that route," Morejon said.
Improved air travel resulted from U.S. President Barack Obama's opening toward Cuba which included the restoration of diplomatic relations a year ago following a 54-year break. However, Cuba is still subject to a U.S. economic embargo that prohibits most other commerce.
In June, the Transportation Department gave airlines approval to schedule flights to other cities in Cuba for the first time in decades. Until now, private air travel to the island just 90 miles (145 km) from the United States had been limited to charter services.
Resident, Jose Cabrera, said he saw the opening of the market as positive.
"We see this as something positive, hopefully other airlines also start flying to Cuba," Cabrera said.
A U.S. ban on tourism to Cuba is still in effect, but the United States stopped prosecuting individuals for going to Cuba when Obama became president. Americans can legally travel to Cuba if they meet one of 12 criteria, such as for educational, cultural or religious purposes.
Obama has expanded commerce with Cuba using executive authority, but only Congress can lift the embargo. The Republican leadership has blocked any such proposal from coming up for a vote.
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