The last day of the airline’s service to Cuba will be September 17.
HAVANA TIMES – The New York-based hybrid airline JetBlue has announced the suspension of all flights to Cuba after the last day of service on September 17. The news comes after the decline in travel to the island and several regulatory restrictions for customers on both sides. JetBlue was the first airline in the US to operate commercial flights between the two countries in more than 50 years. After more than seven years of scheduled services to the island, it is now time to quit.
Suspension of all Cuba service
The airline that made history by operating the first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in 2016 after more than five decades announced a strategic move. The 2016 announcement was a result of restored diplomatic ties between the two countries in July 2015.
JetBlue was the first to explore the potential of air travel to the island. Seven years later, things concerning Cuban routes look bleak for the airline.
The airline desires to discontinue all services to Cuba in an effort to concentrate on routes that show increased demand and perform better. The regulatory restrictions and economic relations are hindering the airline in coping with route performance. According to the airline officials,
Demand for travel to the island has been significantly affected by changes to the regulatory landscape and restrictions on our customers’ ability to enter Cuba. We look forward to resuming our service to Havana and continuing to pursue opportunities within Cuba should travel become more accessible in the future.
Since last year, residents of Cuba have been facing numerous travel restrictions when attempting to enter the country from the United States. The Cuban government has been vocal about certain individuals who are prohibited from entering the country. A number of individuals have either been denied boarding or been refused entry into the country.
Moreover, the country has struggled to regain the tourism with lingering effects of the pandemic. In January, Cuba required passengers to complete a pre-arrival form known as D’VIAJEROS. The airline is required to receive the completed form before traveling to the island nation.
JetBlue has shown the intention to resume services to Havana in the future should the travel conditions and demand become more favorable. Suspending the route to Havana also means deploying the aircraft and resources to destinations that are more favorable for the airline’s business model. Moreover, the airline is keen to concentrate on better-performing routes in the network.
The exit from Havana may lead to increased frequencies on other routes or the initiation of new routes by the airline. With the forecasted increase in travel during the upcoming winter season, airlines aim to cash on the opportunity by focusing on high-performance routes.
The carrier will proactively provide full refunds to customers who are affected by the suspension of routes to Cuba.