US Lifts Cuban Flight Restrictions Imposed By The Trump

US Lifts Cuban Flight Restrictions Imposed By The Trump

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued the order at the request of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said the move was “in support of the Cuban people, as well as in the interests of United States foreign policy.”

The White House last month signaled the move was planned as part of a broader policy revision towards Cuba. Flight restrictions have been lifted effective immediately.

The Trump administration has issued a series of flight restrictions in 2019 and 2020 in a bid to increase US economic pressure on the Cuban government, citing Reuters June 2.

The series included banning US airlines from flying to eight international airports in Cuba outside Havana, including those at Camaguey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Manzanillo, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba.

Under President Donald Trump, the USDOT imposed a cap on charter flights to Cuba of 3.600 per year, as well as suspended private charter flights to Cuba. The department also banned chartered flights to any Cuban airport except Havana.

Later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was “using tourism and travel funds to finance abuses and interference in Venezuela. Dictators cannot be allowed to take advantage of US travel.”

With US airlines facing full flights and some facing staff shortages, it’s unclear how many new flights to Cuba might be added.

As a result of the order, USDOT was dismissed as a contentious pending application for an emergency exemption and for the allocation of Havana’s public charter flights.