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American Airlines Eyes 8 Roundtrip Flights A Day To Havana

American Airlines has applied to the US Department of Transportation for the rights to operate a further 14 roundtrip flights each week between Miami (MIA) and Havana (HAV). The airline already operates over 40 roundtrip flights a week between the two cities, but its application this week says the extra frequencies will allow it to “enhance” those frequencies.

American Airlines revives a pre-pandemic application for extra Havana flights

The application dates back to late January 2020, but COVID-19 ended those plans. Now, the Fort Worth-based airline has filed a new application saying it wants to pick up those extra frequencies, adding two extra departures a day from both cities. In 2020, American Airlines seized on the additional frequencies after JetBlue decided to hand frequencies back to the DOT.

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“It would maximize public benefits by growing capacity at the gateway with the greatest demand for US–Havana travel while enhancing connectivity using American’s leading network at MIA,” reads the August 11 application letter.

American Airlines eyes eight roundtrip flights a day between Miami and Havana

American Airlines already flies six times a day in both directions on the MIA – HAV route. The airline presently has departures out of Miami International at 06:50, 09:40, 10:21, 16:01, 17:00, and 18:55. American Airlines would like to add 08:00 and 17:35 departures to the list. Boeing 737s operate five of the current six daily departures, with a Boeing 787 handling AA2705 which pushes back at 10:21.


Out of Havana, American Airlines presently has departures at 09:00, 11:50, 13:20, 18:15, 19:15, and 21:10. The airline wants to add 10:13 and 19:52 departures to the roster. In its 2020 application, American Airlines originally indicated it planned to operate these extra flights with Boeing 737 aircraft. Its updated application suggests there are no plans to change that.

“American holds exemption authority to provide, and in fact currently operates, scheduled foreign air transportation between Miami and Havana,” the letter reads. “American’s request remains consistent with the US – Cuba Memorandum of Understanding executed on February 16, 2016, pertaining to scheduled air transport services, which allows US carriers to operate up to 20 daily roundtrip frequencies for scheduled combination services to and from Havana.”


American Airlines plans to operate nearly 100 roundtrip flights to six Cuban destinations a week by the end of the year. Image:
gcmap.com

American Airlines boosts its Cuban network

American Airlines presently only flies to Havana from Miami. However, the airline also recently received approval to restart flights in November to Varadero (VRA), Santa Clara (SNU), Camaguey (CMW), Holguín (HOG), and Santiago de Cuba (SCU). The airline got the green light after President Biden overturned a ban on passenger flights between the US and all Cuban airports except Havana. The ban was introduced in 2019 by President Trump’s administration to increase economic pressure on the Cuban government. American Airlines will fly daily from Miami to all the new Cuban destinations except Santa Clara, which will be double daily.

American Airlines plans to start the extra services to Havana as soon as the DOT gives it the nod. With 56 weekly roundtrips between Miami and Havana likely before Christmas, in addition to the 42 new weekly roundtrips spread across the five resuming Cuban routes, American Airlines will offer 98 roundtrip flights a week from Miami to Cuba by the end of the year.

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