U.S. flights to Cuba begin; Alaska Air gets set

Image: JetBlue arrival in Cuba
Crew members at the Santa Clara Abel Santamaría International Airport in Cuba welcome JetBlue Flight 387, the first commercial flight to Cuba from the U.S. in 55 years. (Credit: Business Wire)

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines today won the federal government’s formal approval to fly between Los Angeles and Havana, on the same day that JetBlue made a historic flight to Cuba.

JetBlue’s Flight 387 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the central Cuban city of Santa Clara marked the first regularly scheduled commercial flight between the two countries since 1961.

The chill in air travel began after Cuba’s communist revolution, and warmed up last year when a deal was struck to let U.S. carriers make up to 110 daily round-trip flights to Cuban cities. Since then, the Transportation Department and U.S. airlines have been laying the groundwork for service to Cuba.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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