Flights from Houston to Cuba announced


HAVANA,  July  17  Miami-based HavanaAir will begin weekly direct flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Havana, Cuba, in August.

The private airline will utilize Miami-based Eastern Air Lines Group Inc.’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft for the flights, which will operate on Wednesdays.

The airline currently operates two flights a day to Havana from Miami, with additional flights to Santa Clara and Camaguey, Cuba.

The Houston Airport System is still working with the airline on final details, said Bill Begley, spokesman for HAS.
President Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba earlier this year. Americans authorized to travel to Cuba for various reasons — such as family visits, official U.S. government business, journalism, education and more — do not need to apply for special licenses. However, general tourism is still not allowed, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website.

The Houston Airport System has been eager to fly to Cuba for months.

In May, Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System, told HBJ that the airports were in discussions with at least three carriers to fly to Cuba.

In January, Chicago-based United Airlines spoke of its eagerness to offer routes from Houston, but flights depended on the government’s decision on general travel.

Embassies are scheduled to open in Cuba this month, but the travel and trade embargo are likely to stay in place.