JetBlue to offer weekly flights from New York to Havana

APTOPIX Cuba Classic Cars Photo Gallery
In this Oct. 15, 2014 photo, a man drives a classic American car on The Malecon in Havana, Cuba. This classic still running on the streets of Havana is part of a fleet of classic cars that have become an icon of tourism in the socialist nation. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
Photograph by Franklin Reyes — AP

JetBlue will begin operating a weekly flight from New York to Havana, Cuba this summer following the lifting of several travel and trade restrictions on the country.

The new flight will travel between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana Jose Marti International Airport each Friday at noon, with a return flight from Havana to JFK every Friday at 4:30 p.m.

This makes JetBlue (JBLU) the first carrier to announce additional flights to Cuba from New York since restrictions were lifted earlier this year.

Fliers will have to book flights through Cuba Travel Services, a company that organizes charter flights to Cuba, rather than JetBlue. But Americans are still not authorized to travel to Cuba as tourists and must instead visit for one of 12 specific purposes like visiting a close relative or participating in an academic program.

The partnership follows a recent trade mission by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to Cuba, where he and JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes hashed out a deal with Cuban officials. “By leading one of the first state trade missions to Cuba as the United States reestablishes diplomatic relations, we placed New York State businesses at the front of the line for new prospects in Cuba, that will in turn support jobs and economic activity here at home,” Cuomo said in a release.

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