SEATTLE, WA – The Department of Transportation announced today that it tentatively approved Alaska’s application for daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Havana, Cuba. Alaska was the only carrier to propose daily nonstop service from Los Angeles to Havana.
“We applaud the DOT for making a fair and equitable decision given the high-level of interest and limited number of available departures,” said Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden. “We want to thank Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint, and other city, county and state leaders, as well as congressional supporters of our application. We look forward to offering this exciting destination to our customers.”
The Alaska Airlines flight will originate in Seattle with same plane service to Los Angeles and Havana. The route is among 20 slots in Havana that were available to U.S. carriers when the U.S. government signed an agreement with Cuba to restore commercial air travel between the two countries. Alaska will be one of the first U.S. carriers to fly scheduled commercial flights to Havana in more than five decades.
Together with Alaska Airlines’ global partner airlines, Alaska offers more than 110 nonstop destinations from Los Angeles International Airport. With nearly three decades of international service from Los Angeles, in addition to Havana, Alaska Airlines offers nonstop service to nine destinations in Latin America.
“Alaska looks forward to receiving a final order from the Department of Transportation and to starting service by the end of the year,” said Tilden.
The flight to and from Los Angeles and Cuba will be operated with a Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, which carries 181 passengers in a two-class configuration. Onboard, customers will enjoy more of what they love, including the airline’s popular streaming entertainment service, Alaska Beyond Entertainment, offering both free and pay-per-view titles direct to customer devices along with inflight entertainment tablets available for rent and power at every seat.
There are numerous logistical details involved in flying to a country that has not allowed scheduled commercial U.S. travel in more than five decades. The United States travel embargo currently does not allow Americans to visit Cuba strictly for tourism – U.S. citizens are permitted to travel to Cuba if they fall under 12 approved categories, such as family visits, education, journalism and humanitarian projects.
The U.S. Treasury Department allows travel for the following activities:
1. Family visits.
2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations.
3. Journalistic activity.
4. Professional research and professional meetings.
5. Educational activities.
6. Religious activities.
7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions.
8. Support for the Cuban people.
9. Humanitarian projects.
10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes.
11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials.
12. Certain authorized export transactions.