American Airlines launches Cuba flights from Miami

American Airlines made history on Wednesday when it launched two commercial passenger flights to Cuba from Miami for the first time in 55 years.
The airline flew to the Cuban cities of Cienfuegos and Holguin signalling the start of what will eventually be 12 daily flights to that country from Miami International Airport.
These flights come a week after JetBlue Airways’ inaugural flight on August 31 to Santa Clara from Fort Lauderdale.
“Today is historic not only for American Airlines but also for Miami, the heart and soul of the Cuban-American community in the United States,” said Ralph Lopez, vice president of American’s Miami hub operations at a ceremony prior to the flights’ departure. “It’s been more than 50 years since there has been commercial air service to Cuba and today, September 7, 2016, we begin service not to one, but two of our six destinations in the country.”
American Airlines will commence commercial flights from Miami to Camagüey, Santa Clara and Varadero later this week.
Prior to the departure, some of the airline’s employees and passengers took part in festivities at adjoining gates that included a live band and Cuban coffee and pastries.
American said that the daily Miami-to-Cienfuegos route will serviced using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, while the twice-weekly Miami-to-Holguin service will employ an Airbus A319.
Cienfuegos which literally translates to “one hundred fires” is a city on the southern coast of Cuba, 160 miles from Havana with a population of 150,000. The city dubbed as La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South) is a popular diving destination.
Holguín is Cuba’s forth largest city with approximately 300,000 people.  It boasts Colonial architecture, parks and plazas and  a tourist area, offering beach resorts in the outskirts of the region.
American is among eight U.S. carriers that received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer nonstop service between Havana and 10 U.S. cities.
The U.S. and Cuba signed an agreement in February to allow commercial flights to Cuba for the first time in five decades.