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[WASHINGTON] Six US airlines will begin regularly scheduled flights to Cuba starting as soon as this fall under a landmark agreement opening travel between the two countries.
The action Friday by the Department of Transportation follows an agreement reached with Cuba last February to resume scheduled air service. While some US airlines have been flying to Cuba, flights were for limited purposes that did not include tourism.
"Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to 'begin a new journey' with the Cuban people," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release posted on the agency's website.
"Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century."
The US cities with flights to Cuba will be Miami; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Chicago; Philadelphia and Minneapolis, according to DOT.
The airlines are: American Airlines Group Inc, Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc, JetBlue Airways Corp, Silver Airways Corp, Southwest Airlines Co, and Sun Country Airlines Inc.
They will fly to nine Cuban cities, not including Havana. The DOT is still determining which carriers will be allowed to fly to the Cuban capital.
"The resumption of scheduled air service to Cuba is a historic achievement and we commend Secretary Foxx and his team for making it a reality," Steve Johnson, American's executive vice president of corporate affairs, said in a press release.