Flight 243 Makes History as First Havana-Bound Commercial Flight from
New York Metro Area in More Than 50 Years
JetBlue Will Also Launch First-Ever Flights From Orlando and Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood This Week, Lifting JetBlue to Nearly 50 Weekly
Flights Between U.S. and Cuba
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced the historic launch of service to
Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV) from three of the
airline’s focus cities, with the first flight taking off this morning
shortly after 9 a.m. from New York’s John F. Kennedy International
Airport (JFK). JetBlue’s service to Havana from Orlando begins November
29 and service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood begins November 30.
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Crewmembers at the Santa Clara Abel Santamaría International Airport in Cuba welcome JetBlue flight 387 on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, the first commercial flight to Cuba from the U.S. in more than 50 years.
JetBlue flight 243 became the first commercial flight to Cuba from the
New York area since scheduled service resumed this year and marked the
first day of U.S. commercial service to the Cuban Capital in more than
50 years. The New York metropolitan area is home to the second-largest
Cuban-American population in the U.S.
“JetBlue didn’t even exist when commercial service ended, and now we are
a leading airline in Cuba and the Caribbean,” said Robin Hayes,
president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We are proud to touch
down in Havana today on the very first day of commercial service between
the U.S. and Cuba’s capital.”
“This inaugural flight between New York and Havana is a milestone in
this new era of progress between our two nations, and another tangible
result of this state's successful trade mission to Cuba,” said New
York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “I congratulate JetBlue on this landmark
accomplishment, which will help further ties and strengthen the economic
relationship between New York and Cuba."
"Today's inaugural regular JetBlue flight between John F. Kennedy
International Airport and Havana results from Governor Cuomo's
pioneering State visit to Cuba in April 2015 and represents another
historic aviation milestone for the region that will further increase
commerce and benefit travelers,'' said Port Authority Executive Director
Pat Foye. "I am proud the Port Authority and JFK Airport are involved in
this significant step forward in helping to reestablish direct travel
between the U.S. and Cuba."
The launch of Havana service also marks a major milestone for JetBlue as
the Cuban capital becomes the airline’s 100th destination in
22 countries. Less than 17 years since its first flight, JetBlue, known
for offering an award-winning experience at a competitive price, now
serves an exciting and diverse range of destinations throughout the
U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.
JetBlue now serves four destinations in Cuba. With its inaugural flight
to Santa Clara in August, JetBlue became the first U.S. carrier to
operate commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50
years. Earlier this month JetBlue began serving the cities of Camagüey
“We commend the work of both U.S. and Cuban officials for making today
possible. We also commend the Cuban Ministry of Transportation, IACC,
and the Havana Airport for entrusting us to operate this route and look
forward to our long-term partnership as we continue to grow our presence
in Cuba,” said JetBlue President & CEO Hayes.
Service Between Florida and Cuba Grows
New York flights will be followed later this week by JetBlue’s first
nonstop flights between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Havana
on Tuesday, November 29, as well as new nonstop service between Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Havana on
Wednesday, November 30. A second nonstop between Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood and Havana will begin Thursday, December 1 and
operate daily except Saturdays.
"Opening the doors of cultural and economic opportunity are key benefits
of air travel," says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater
Orlando Aviation Authority. "JetBlue's direct service to Cuba from
Orlando provides our passengers and community with a unique opportunity
to build lasting bonds between our two cultures."
"Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is honored to host
JetBlue's inaugural flight to Havana from our airport," said Mark Gale,
CEO/Director of Aviation. "This historic flight will open the way for
affordable and convenient travel for Cuban-Americans to visit family on
the island and for all Americans to experience the culture and people of
the Cuban capital."
JetBlue’s Cuba service in the Sunshine State provides convenient nonstop
service to communities throughout south and central Florida. And with
nearly 30 nonstop destinations in Orlando and more than 50 nonstop
destinations in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, JetBlue customers across the
airline’s network can take advantage of convenient connections to and
from Cuba by traveling through JetBlue’s Florida focus cities.
JetBlue Sets Out toRemove Cost & Complexity for Customers
With affordable fares in each of its Cuban markets, JetBlue has removed
the high costs and complexity of travel to Cuba while offering the same
award-winning service that has made the airline popular throughout the
Caribbean. True to its customer focus, JetBlue is taking a number of
steps unique to its Cuba launch to set it apart from competitors known
for offering high prices and inferior service:
- Affordable fares: JetBlue offers a low starting fare to make
Cuba more accessible to those visiting family members or traveling to
Cuba for cultural, business or group travel.
- Health insurance included: JetBlue includes Cuban
government-required health insurance coverage for all travelers on all
Cuba-bound flights so that customers do not have to worry about
obtaining the insurance separately.
- Affidavit in a few clicks: Under U.S. regulations, every
customer traveling to Cuba must complete an affidavit affirming the
customer is going for one of 12 reasons of approved travel from the U.S.
Department of Treasury. JetBlue has built the completion of the
affidavit right into the booking process so it can be finished in only
a couple of clicks.
- Day-of-travel Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card): Separate from
the U.S.-regulated 12 categories, Cuba requires visitors to obtain an
entrance visa onto the island. For customers who qualify for a Cuban
Tourist Visa (Tourist Card), JetBlue will make those available for
purchase upon check-in at one of its gateway airports or at the gate
for connecting customers on the day of travel. All travelers to Cuba
should make their own determination with respect to the appropriate
type of visa required by Cuba for their purpose of travel.
JetBlue to Be Preferred Airline to Cuba, and Throughout Caribbean
JetBlue serves Santa Clara, Camagüey, Holguín and Havana from three U.S.
gateway cities with multiple flight options for JetBlue customers across
the airline’s network. With up to seven daily flights and nearly 50
weekly flights between the U.S. and Cuba, JetBlue is committed to
investing in and growing new Cuban markets.
JetBlue’s commercial service follows nearly five years of successful
charter service operating multiple routes between Cuban markets and U.S.
cities. In that time, JetBlue has built strong relationships with
airport authorities and worked closely together to make the launch of
commercial service possible.
Flights between the U.S. and Cuba feature the most legroom in coach (a)
and complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks.
Select flights also feature free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet
in the sky (b); free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100 channels of
SiriusXM® radio in every seatback.
JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, based on average
fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.
Fly-Fi is not available on flights operating outside of the
continental U.S. For flights originating outside of the continental
U.S., Fly-Fi will be available once the aircraft returns to the
coverage area. Fly-Fi is available on most JetBlue-operated flights,
with fleet-wide installation complete by the end of 2016.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier
in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando,
and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to
100 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of
925 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.
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JetBlue Corporate Communications