Airlines gearing up to protect flights to Cuba

HAVANA, Jan 31th U.S. airlines began lobbying Washington on Cuba last year as they fought to win commercial flight routes to the island nation for the first time in 50 years.

But travel advocates expect to see an even bigger lobbyingpush around the issue this year, with questions hanging over the new administration’s policies, including whether President Trump will reverse the historic opening of relations with Cuba.

Those concerns have the powerful airline industry, which invested a significant amount of time and resources into competing for and setting up the new flight routes, ramping up their efforts in Washington to preserve those changes.

“The airlines will not cease their advocacy with respect to Cuba, but they’re going to change their strategy from focusing on seeking more [concessions] to focusing on preserving what they have,” said John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council.