Today, the United States and Cuba are expected to sign the arrangement that will eventually open the way to scheduled flights between the two nations. United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is expected to be in Havana for the signing.
According to government sources quoted in the U.S. media, the new arrangement will permit up to 20 flights daily between Havana and various U.S. cities, and another 10 to other international airports inside Cuba.
Currently, there are no regularly scheduled flights, only routes that are operated under charter licenses granted for authorized travel to Cuba. There are currently between 10 to 15 flights daily in that category.
U.S. citizens are still prohibited from traveling to Cuba as tourists. They must travel with an authorized permit granted by the U.S. Treasury Department in specific categories ranging from family visits, academic study or humanitarian projects. But travel has always been arranged by tour operators who are licensed to charter flights to Cuba. Therefore, this new "arrangement" will allow U.S. airline carriers to schedule flights, although it doesn't release them from the obligations governing U.S. citizens visits to the Cuba.
Several U.S. airlines, according to the media reports, including United, American and JetBlue, are interested in bidding for the daily routes to Cuba. But none of them have yet to specify how they will comply with the law regarding Americans' travel to Cuba.