WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The administration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a sequence of restrictions on flights to Cuba imposed by his predecessor, together with ending a prohibition on U.S. airline flights to Cuban airports aside from Havana.
The U.S. Transportation Division (USDOT) issued the order on the request of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who mentioned the motion was “in assist of the Cuban individuals, and within the international coverage pursuits of the USA.”
The White Home final month had signaled the deliberate transfer as a part of a broader revision of coverage towards Cuba. The flight restrictions have been lifted efficient instantly.
The Trump administration had issued a sequence of aviation restrictions in 2019 and 2020 in a bid to extend U.S. financial strain on the Cuban authorities.
They included barring U.S. carriers from flying to eight worldwide airports in Cuba outdoors of Havana together with these in Camaguey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Manzanillo, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba.
Beneath President Donald Trump, USDOT imposed a cap on constitution flights to Cuba at 3,600 per yr and later suspended non-public constitution flights to Cuba. The division additionally barred constitution to flights to any Cuban airports besides Havana.
Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Cuba “makes use of tourism and journey funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela. Dictators can’t be allowed to learn from U.S. journey.”
USDOT underneath Trump did enable approved public charters to and from Havana and different approved constitution flights “for emergency medical functions, search and rescue, and different journey deemed to be within the curiosity of the USA.”
With U.S. airways going through full flights and a few going through worker shortages it isn’t clear what number of new flights to Cuba may be added.
On account of the order, USDOT dismissed as moot pending functions for emergency exemptions and for the allocation of Havana public constitution flights.