Tag Archives: Cuba

Air China launches the Beijing – Montreal – Havana route

Air China Boeing 777-39L ER B-2045 (msn 41443) LHR (SPA). Image: 930233.

Air China (Beijing) on December 27, 2015 announced at a ceremony held at T3 of Beijing Capital International Airport that it has started China’s first route to Cuba. The inaugural flight departed from Beijing for Havana, the capital of Cuba, with a stopover in Montreal.

The flights CA879/CA880 are operated three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 14:00 and arrives in Montreal at 16:20 and at Havana at 20:15. The inbound flight departs from Havana at 09:00, arrives in Montreal at 14:30 and in Beijing at 17:30 the following day. The flights are operated with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

In 2015, Air China has started 29 international routes, and now the carrier’s route network has been expanded to all the six continents of the world.

Currently, Air China serves 10 destinations in Americas including New York (J. F. Kennedy Airport, Newark Airport), Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Vancouver, Montreal, Honolulu, Havana and Sao Paulo.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2045 (msn 41443) touches down in London (Heathrow).

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Silver Airways to return to Cuba in 2016

Silver Airways SAAB 340B N435XJ (msn 435) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929960.

Silver Airways (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced its intention to resume nonstop service to Cuba in 2016. The company has a long history of providing charter flights to Cuba, and given the announcement of a new bilateral agreement between Cuba and the U.S., Silver plans to bring much needed commercial service to many Cuban destinations in the near future. The airline will apply to the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve most, if not all, of the ten approved destinations within Cuba, including Havana.

In light of the recent Cuba announcement as well as several other exciting growth opportunities within Florida and the Caribbean, the board of directors of Silver Airways has initiated a process to evaluate a range of strategic alternatives for the airline. The company has engaged Raymond James as its financial advisor to assist in exploring potential strategic partnerships, growth investments, and a merger or ownership transition that would enhance Silver’s ability to capitalize on these attractive growth opportunities.

Over the past five years, Silver has been transformed from a regional express carrier into a successful independent airline providing important air service to otherwise unserved or underserved cities across Florida and the Bahamas. As part of this transformation, the company was rebranded as Silver Airways, upgraded its fleet to SAAB 340B+ aircraft, launched its own Sabre reservation system, relocated its maintenance headquarters to Orlando, strengthened the leadership team, and implemented valuable commercial partnerships with a number of larger carriers, including United and JetBlue. These initiatives have created a compelling value proposition and unique customer experience, and have driven Silver’s revenue to nearly triple since 2011. The board is now considering several opportunities that will accelerate growth and geographic expansion, including the opening of the Cuban market.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. SAAB 340B N435XJ (msn 435) climbs away from the runway at Washington (Dulles).

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Route Map:

Silver Airways 12.2015 Route Map

Three U.S. airlines to apply for Cuban scheduled authority

The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore regularly scheduled airline services with a new bilateral agreement. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines have already stated they will seek service rights to serve Havana and other cities on the island. Charter flights will continue for now and there was no timeline given for regularly scheduled flights.

This will also mean the return of Cubana (Havana) to the USA.

In the past, when there was a bilateral agreement, Cubana along with Pan Am, National Airlines and Delta Air Lines previously flew between the two countries.

American Airlines issued this statement:

American Airlines 2013 logo

American Airlines issued the following statement on the United States and Cuba reaching an arrangement that will permit scheduled air service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years.

“Today’s announcement is great news for our customers as it brings us one step closer to connecting the U.S. and Cuba with scheduled air service,” said American’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “As the leading carrier to the Caribbean and the leading U.S. airline to Cuba, we look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other American hubs. We appreciate the Administration’s efforts and the hard work of the U.S. negotiators to reach this arrangement.”

Charter Service to Cuba

American has operated charter service to Cuba since 1991 with flights from Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles to five Cuban destinations: Camaguey (CMW), Cienfuegos (CFG), Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG) and Santa Clara (SNU). American has been the leader in the U.S. to Cuba market for nearly 25 years. This year, American will operate approximately 1,200 charter flights to Cuba, more than any other U.S. carrier and a 9 percent increase from 2014.

On December 12, American expanded its reach to Cuba with the launch of new charter service, offering customers travel options between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana, and providing the only nonstop service between the West Coast of the U.S. and Cuba.

Next Steps

As a result of today’s announcement, American expects to submit a U.S.-Cuba service proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation and hopes for timely approval of its proposal to enable American to introduce scheduled service as soon as possible in 2016.

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

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JetBlue applauded a landmark civil aviation agreement that will allow scheduled air service to resume between the U.S. and Cuba.

JetBlue will submit its application for new routes to the U.S. Department of Transportation once the airline has fully reviewed terms of the agreement and has clarity on the process and timing of assigning frequencies to U.S. airlines.

Depending on the number of flight frequencies available to the airline, JetBlue is eager to offer affordable service from numerous U.S. cities to multiple destinations in Cuba.

“We hope the next dot on our Caribbean route map will be Havana, and possibly even other destinations in Cuba,” Laurence said. “Cuba is the perfect addition to the JetBlue network. Over the last several years, we have become a leader in the Caribbean with our position as the largest airline in markets like Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and an expanding presence across the region.”

JetBlue first began operating charters to Cuba in 2011 and now flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, and Tampa. JetBlue plans to continue operating charter flights with its partners as the process of assigning frequencies for scheduled service flights proceeds.

United Airlines issued this statement:

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United Airlines issued the following statement after the U.S. and Cuban governments agreed to reinstitute scheduled air service between the two nations.

“United Airlines congratulates the U.S. and Cuban governments on reaching this historic arrangement, which will strengthen ties and economic development between the two countries. We look forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba as soon as we have approval to do so.”

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Air China is coming to Cuba

Air China Boeing 777-39L ER B-2086 (msn 38667) LHR (SPA). Image: 930235.

Air China (Beijing) will start Beijing – Montreal – Havana service on December 27, 2015 , a southward extension to Havana of the carrier’s Beijing – Montreal service already started on September 29. With the extension, passengers make a short stopover in Montreal and then continue their journey to the “Jewel of the Caribbean ” for its romantic Latin American charms.

The new service will bring the number of destinations in the Americas that Air China serves up to 10, including New York (JFK, Newark ), Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Vancouver, Montreal (Trudeau), Honolulu, Sao Paulo and Havana.

The flights CA879/CA880 Beijing – Montreal are operated three times a week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 14:00 and arrives in Montreal at 13:40 and Havana at 20:15. The return flight departs from Havana at 09:00, arrives in Montreal at 12:30 and in Beijing at 17:30 the following day. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2086 (msn 38667) lands at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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JetBlue adds more Cuban charters from New York

JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 WL N834JB (msn 5782) (Blueberries) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 930228.

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cuba Travel Services (CTS) today announced the start of their second weekly roundtrip charter flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and José Martí International Airport (HAV) in Havana. The added flights will operate on Tuesdays and become JetBlue’s sixth weekly roundtrip charter route between the U.S. and Cuba. In July, JetBlue became the first major airline to fly to Cuba from New York when it launched weekly flights on Fridays.

Since government restrictions were eased earlier this year, JetBlue has doubled its number of charter flights to Cuba and has positioned itself as a leading airline to the island nation with its award-winning service. Once scheduled service is allowed, Cuba will play an important role in JetBlue’s growing network in Latin America and the Caribbean.

JetBlue first began operating charters to Cuba in 2011 and now flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York (JFK), Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Tampa. All flights are operated on 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft with JetBlue crew members.

In other news, JetBlue also announced that it has joined the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which includes more than 154 companies from across the American economy demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action and voicing support for a strong outcome to the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) Paris climate negotiations.

Finally, JetBlue is considering a new approach to its pilot training program. Read the full story from the WSJ: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 WL N834JB (msn 5782) prepares to depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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JetBlue and Cuba Travel Services expand Cuban charter flights from New York JFK

JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) has announced new Cuban charter services from the New York JFK base:

JetBlue logo

After successfully launching the first Havana-bound flight on a major airline from New York since travel restrictions were eased this year, JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) and Cuba Travel Services (CTS) today announced the addition of a second JetBlue charter flight connecting the two cities with nonstop service. The expansion of the JetBlue-CTS schedule comes shortly after the U.S. further eased restrictions by allowing approved travelers to Cuba to travel with close relatives.

The roundtrip charter flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV) will operate every Tuesday beginning December 1, 2015. The existing JetBlue-CTS flight operates every Friday, giving New York customers more flexibility in their travel plans.

JetBlue has doubled its number of charter flights to Cuba since travel restrictions have eased, and is the only major airline operating charter flights from New York.

Through its charter partners, JetBlue flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Tampa. All flights are operated on 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft with JetBlue crewmembers and the same JetBlue experience as scheduled service, including free Fly-Fi broadband internet, the most inflight entertainment, free snacks and soft drinks, and the most legroom in coach (a).

When scheduled service is allowed, Cuba will play an important role in JetBlue’s network in the Latin America and the Caribbean, where it has quickly become a leading airline with its friendly service and competitive fares. The airline has built valuable experience operating in Cuba since 2011 with its charter program, and has plans for service from multiple cities ready to go.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N663JB (msn 3287) in the Tartan design departs from the New York (JFK) hub.

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EasySky expands with Boeing 737 charter flights to Havana, Cuba, the original “Volunteer Pacemaker” is going strong after 36 years

EasySky (Global Air) 737-200 XA-UHZ (Grd)(EasySky)(LRW)

EasySky (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) earlier this year expanded its scope to Cuba. The regional airline has been operating weekly Boeing 737 charter flights from La Ceiba and Roatan to Havana, Cuba using 737s sourced from Global Air of Mexico.

EasySky logo

The airline also operates internationally to Cancun, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador.

Piedmont (1st) logo

Top Photo: EasySky. 36 years of service and still going strong. Boeing 737-201 XA-UHZ (msn 21816) is leased from Global Air. The 737 was originally delivered to Piedmont Airlines as N769N “Volunteer Pacemaker” on August 7, 1979.

EasySky charters to Havana

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