JetBlue Airways became the first US airline in 50 years to operate a commercial flight between the US and Cuba when it launched operations from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Abel Santamaría Airport in Santa Clara on August 31.
Flight 387 touched down on the island just before 11am with Robin Hayes, the carrier’s President and CEO, government officials from both nations, dignitaries among those on board the maiden service.
“We are proud to be the first US airline to serve Cuba, but our focus is on being the best airline serving Cuba,” said Hayes. “This historic flight symbolises our long-term commitment to provide affordable, award-winning services between Cuba and the US. For the first time in decades, families separated by only a short stretch of water can easily and affordably visit a loved one, attend an important occasion or visit a special place – and the role we play speaks directly to our mission of inspiring humanity.”
The flight was also the first scheduled service operated to the Caribbean island by a US carrier using jet aircraft; prior to the embargo US carriers had only flown propeller-powered aircraft.
JetBlue will begin flights from Fort Lauderdale to Camagüey/Ignacio Agramonte Airport on November 3, and Holguín/Frank País Airport on November 10, pending government authority. Subject to government approval, it will serve Havana with daily flights from the Floridian airport as well as New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Orlando International Airport.