American Airlines plans daily service from Miami to Santiago de Cuba next year
By Mimi Whitefield
American Airlines said that it plans to begin flying a Miami-Santiago de Cuba route next year, opening up a new market to U.S. air travelers to the island’s second largest city.
Although U.S.-based cruise lines have called frequently in Santiago since the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba, the capital city of the southeastern province has been without direct regularly scheduled air service from the United States. Currently U.S. travelers who want to visit eastern Cuba must fly into the city of Holguín, a more than two-hour drive from Santiago de Cuba.
American asked the Department of Transportation for authorization to begin the daily route from Miami International Airport to Santiago’s Antonio Maceo Airport (SCU) on May 3. It would be American’s sixth destination in Cuba.
Commercial service between the United States and Cuba resumed on Aug. 31, 2016, after a gap of more than 50 years. But since then, demand has fluctuated dramatically as travel regulations for Americans have changed.
Some airlines that were awarded Cuba routes by DOT had calculated that the opening toward Cuba that began during the Obama administration would continue to progress and demand would be strong for flights not only to Havana but also to provincial capitals.