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American Airlines petitions for commercial flights to Cuba in 2016

American Airlines petitions for commercial flights to Cuba in 2016

American Airlines, plane, jet
American Airlines is hot for Cuba. American Airlines

American Airlines has submitted a proposal for the Department of Transportation to introduce regularly scheduled flights to Cuba. If approved, it will permit scheduled air service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years.

American Airlines chairman and CEO Doug Parker said the proposal represents the next step in connecting the U.S. with Cuba. "We look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other American hubs," he said in a release.

American has operated only charter service to Cuba, since 1991, with flights from Miami, Tampa, and Los Angeles to five Cuban destinations: Camagüey (CMW), Cienfuegos (CFG), Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG), and Santa Clara (SNU). This year, American will operate approximately 1,200 charter flights to Cuba, a 9 percent increase from 2014.

On December 12, American launched new charter service, offering flights between LAX and Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana.

American is also increasing its flights to other Caribbean ports, such as DFW to Grand Cayman and Punta Cana, LAX to Montego Bay, and Charlotte to Curacao and Puerto Plata.