HAVANA: US airlines resumed immediate flights to Havana on Monday (Nov 28), a signal of the switching times just as the Cuban money held a tearful memorial for late groundbreaking chief Fidel Castro.
Following location off from Miami with a h2o cannon salute, an American Airlines flight touched down at Jose Marti international airport at 8.45am (9.45pm Singapore time).
It was the to start with time in much more than fifty yrs a US airline delivered standard industrial provider to Havana.
“It’s some thing historic. We have been anticipating this for a extensive time below,” reported American passenger Edgar Salveani on arrival.
American Airlines passengers disembark at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. (AFP/Yamil Lage)
The to start with JetBlue Airways flight from New York to Havana arrived soon following.
Industrial flights amongst Cuba and the US experienced previously resumed in August below the historic rapprochement the aged Chilly War foes introduced in December 2014. But these are the to start with to Havana.
In an added dose of symbolism, they arrive just three times following Castro’s death at age 90 turned a webpage on the groundbreaking leader’s divisive legacy.
As the planes touched down, hundreds of 1000’s of Cubans have been streaming onto Havana’s legendary Revolution Sq. to pay their past respects to Castro, who ruled the island with an iron fist from 1959 to 2006.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience, it will be fascinating to see how folks are responding to his passing,” passenger Priva Rhat advised reporters on the American Airlines flight.
Air travel amongst the United States and Cuba experienced been restricted to charter flights from 1979 right until earlier this calendar year.
Direct industrial flights began on Aug 31, linking numerous US airports with nine Cuban metropolitan areas, numerous of them in or close to tourism hotspots.
There are now 110 scheduled day-to-day flights from the United States to Cuba, 20 of them to Havana.
The immediate flights have been one of numerous watershed alterations initiated following US President Barack Obama and Castro’s successor, his younger brother Raul, introduced a thaw following much more than fifty yrs of hostility.
Diplomatic relations have been restored in July 2015.
Washington still bans Us citizens from browsing Cuba as visitors, but travel is permitted for twelve other classes, which include cultural and academic trade.