The two companies now operate one of two other JFK-to-Havana charter flights. Officials in August expressed optimism that flights could start by December, and a number of USA airlines have expressed interest in launching them.
Private jet charter Victor is taking advantage of the newly repaired diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba with a partnership on curated trips to the island nation. “Hopefully this doesn’t take too long, but there’s no set timetable”, he said.
However, reaching an arrangement for scheduled service wouldn’t mean the end of Cuba charter service.
On Friday, a U.S. Department of State official spoke about the current talks between both nations when it comes to civil aviation. Its officials attended this week’s meeting but weren’t immediately available for comment.
On Monday and Tuesday, delegations from both countries held an initial round of negotiations in Havana to establish regular commercial flights, addressing topics relevant to air transport, operational security and aviation security, said Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. “We’ve been equally clear on the facts of our regulatory environment”.
The official said that Cuba has made it clear it wants reciprocity – meaning it would also like its airlines to offer scheduled service to the United States.
“Even as the world anticipates what future air travel to Cuba will look like, we recognize that many Americans need to travel there today”, Scott Laurence, senior vice president, airline planning at JetBlue, said in a statement. The airline has built valuable experience operating in Cuba since 2011 with its charter program, and has plans for service from multiple cities ready to go.
Cuba has 10 airports providing global service, and carriers including Virgin Atlantic Airways, which is part- owned by Delta, have in recent years launched services to the country.