Southwest and American Airlines Compete for Delta’s Cuba Route

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Delta Air Lines is discontinuing their New York (JFK) to Havana, Cuba service effective September 1, 2018, due to poor performance, which is also causing JetBlue to discontinue their Saturday service from New York (JFK) Havana, Cuba as well.

As the Department of Transportation has a limit of 20 daily flights between the United States and Havana, Cuba, these cancelled routes are of much interest to American Airlines and Southwest Airlines who would both like to increase their Havana service from Florida.

American Airlines would like to add an additional flight between Miami to Havana starting Dec. 22, 201 onboard on of their Boeing 737-800 aircraft. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines is looking to add a new route starting December 1, 2018 from Tampa to Havana onboard one of their 737’s.

Per the Dallas Business Journal,

The DoT allows U.S. carriers to operate 20 daily combination or all-cargo scheduled round-trip frequencies between the U.S. and Havana as part of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding the U.S. and Cuba signed in February 2016.

Since then, the three airlines have each been making their case for why they should take the extra Cuba slot. In regard to the two local airlines, Southwest wants to service the Cuban capital from Tampa while American looks to add to its Havana-Miami route.

“Miami has been and remains the most underserved U.S. gateway to Havana,” an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. “American’s proposed service would offer the most seats to passengers, create the most connections, and do the most to enhance competition.”

Currently, those 20 routes are all filled up. So, when an extra route becomes available like it has in this case, U.S. airlines are eager to petition the DoT for extra Cuba service.

See our other Havana, Cuba coverage:

What are your thoughts on who should get the upcoming open frequency? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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  1. Glad I took this flight a while back. Bummer more people aren’t interested. There is value in seeing life from the Cuban prespective.

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