HAVANA, 10 April Direct weekly flights to Cuba from Orlando International Airport will start July 8, marking the first time in decades that people can leave from Central Florida to the island nation 90 miles south of Key West.
Island Travel & Tours, based in Tampa, will fly each Wednesday from Orlando International to Havana, Cuba, said company owner Bill Hauf.A roundtrip coach ticket will cost $429 for the hour and 15 minute flight, he said.
The new rules allow travel agents and carriers to book flights to Cuba for American citizens without the permission of the U.S. government, as was previously the case.Essentially, travelers have to fill out a form and choose one of 12 reasons for the trip, ranging from Cuban Americans visiting family to Americans who are going for religious, educational or cultural reasons.
Americans also will be allowed to use credit cards, which previously was prohibited.
Orlando International will be able to attract travelers from Central Florida and parts of the East Coast, all the way north to Jacksonville.
Hauf said he is renting a Boeing 737 that carries 120 passengers from a Phoenix company. If demand is great enough, Hauf said, he intends to start a Sunday flight, too.
In addition to flights, Hauf said, he can provide travelers with visas, as well as accommodations and transportation.