American and Southwest Airlines both got tentative federal government approval today to start commercial flights to Cuba. But there will be no non-stops out of north Texas airports.
Both airlines are among eight U.S. carriers cleared for daily trips to Cuba. Fort Worth based American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, will launch flights beginning Sept 7 to two Cuban cities. Within days, it will add service to three others. All flights will leave from Miami.
Dallas based Southwest, the largest domestic airline, hasn’t specified a start date yet for Cuban service. Spokesperson Brad Hawkins says it will begin this year, and Southwest officials will be in Cuba next week to work out details.
“It is a huge deal for not only our company and the Dallas based legacy Southwest has created,” Hawkins said, “but for consumers. Southwest entering this new market really does make it a value proposition for a lot more people.”
Hawkins says Southwest’s Cuban flights will leave from two Florida cities and serve three Cuban destinations. Other carriers approved for Cuban flights include Alaska, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, and United. Some departure cities outside of Florida are Houston, Atlanta, &, Los Angeles.