JetBlue Airways launches historic route to Cuba

JetBlue Airways’ Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara

Fort Lauderdale celebrated this historic route launch in the best possible way…with not just one cake…but three! As well as cakes, José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, Cuban Ambassador to the US, unveiled a poster to commemorate JetBlue Airways’ first service to Santa Clara. A live band also performed in the terminal to kick-start celebrations while a ribbon cutting ceremony also took place. All passengers on the first flight also received commemorative gift bags.

Seen on arrival at Santa Clara Airport is Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary. On disembarking the aircraft he met with Eduardo Rodríguez, Deputy Minister of Transport for Cuba. While the two government officials met, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the Cuban airport which was conducted by Robin Hayes, President and CEO of JetBlue Airways, and Omar Gil, Santa Clara Airport Director.

  • JetBlue Airways made history on 31 August as it commenced the first scheduled service between the US and Cuba since 1961, a 398-kilometre sector from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Santa Clara (SNU). Initially the US carrier will operate this airport pair thrice-weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), however from 1 October flights will increase to a daily frequency. “We wanted to be first to Cuba and our crew members wanted to be first in Cuba. This is going to make travel not only easier, but much more affordable and that’s going to encourage many more people to travel,” said JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes. “Today opens the door to further exchange between the American people and the Cuban people,” said Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary. “We think that’s ultimately good for the expansion of freedom and democracy.” JetBlue is one of a handful of US carriers which has been given rights to fly between the two nations, and indeed the carrier will be joined on this specific airport pair. Silver Airways will inaugurate flights between the two cities on 1 September with an initial thrice-weekly service, before it too increases its weekly flight offering later this year. JetBlue will launch a further two routes from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba before the end of 2016, with the carrier adding flights to Camaguey on 3 November and Holguin on 10 November. The carrier was given government approval on 31 August to operate routes routes from Havana to Fort Lauderdale (13 times weekly), Orlando (daily) and New York JFK (daily) from the autumn (start dates to be confirmed). See how Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara airports FTWAs compare to others from around the world.

New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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