Flights to Cuba – When Will it Happen

Pres. Obama’s announcement that the U.S. plans to “normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba” has reopened a hot topic in the travel industry, one FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney devoted a column to back in 2008 called, Next Vacation Hot Spot: Cuba?

No Cuba Flights Just Yet

Now travelers and tourism officials alike are wondering, what’s next and when? Few seem to believe regularly-scheduled airline service between the U.S. and Havana’s José Martí International is just around the corner but as Seaney said, “If there is money to be made on flights to Cuba, and likely there will be, airlines will eventually jump in, toes first.”

We put the question to Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins who said, “It’s too soon to determine if or how [the president’s announcement] will impact our service footprint” but ever since Southwest’s merger with AirTran – a carrier with several routes between the U.S. and the Caribbean – Southwest has been exploring more destinations in the region.

The Caribbean Connection

Hawkins noted Southwest recently announced its intent to offer new service to Belize and Costa Rica so it would seem logical Cuba could be a good fit – eventually, perhaps. That could also be true for several other airlines with strong Caribbean connections including Spirit, JetBlue and more. At the moment though, carriers appear happy to let the diplomats do the talking.

If or when regularly-scheduled flights between the U.S. and Cuba become a reality, we can say this – you will be able to find those airline ticket prices on FareCompare.


Updated: December 17, 2014