Wednesday, July 20, 2016

All Cargo Airline Gets Permit for US Cuba Freight Flights

Things Loosening Up as Relationship Develops
Shipping News Feature
US – CUBA – American parcel giant FedEx, has become the first all-cargo airline approved by the US Department of Transportation to provide regular scheduled flights to Cuba as relations between the two countries continue to ease. Starting January 15, 2017, FedEx will begin once-daily Monday through Friday air freight service between Miami, Florida and Matanzas, Cuba, to complement the previously announced passenger/combinations flights.

On February 16, 2016, Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx signed an arrangement with the Cuban government to re-establish scheduled air service between the two countries after more than 50 years. Under the new arrangement, each country has the opportunity to operate up to 20 daily roundtrip flights between the US and Havana, and up to 10 daily roundtrip flights between the US and each of Cuba’s other nine international airports.

FedEx has so far been the only all-cargo carrier to seek scheduled authority to Cuba. The DOT’s concession of non-Havana authority to FedEx is in addition to DOT’s previous approval of six US airlines to begin scheduled combination services to Cuban cities outside Havana. All of these non-Havana applications were uncontested and the DOT’s proceeding on the award of Havana authority is ongoing.

The approved domestic airlines will begin the scheduled passenger/combination flights between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, in the US and Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba, in Cuba as early as this fall. American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines have been named to serve the routes.

Although things have loosened up between the two countries the US still maintains its trade embargo for anything produced on the island and seeking an export market. With the imminent departure of President Obama relations between the two nations may face an uncertain future, particularly if the Republican candidate manages to secure the White House.

Photo: They may be short on US imports but Cubans have beaches second to none!