US-Cuba aviation deal allows 110 scheduled flights a day
Michael Weissenstein (The Philippine Star) - December 17, 2015 - 1:31pm

HAVANA — The United States and Cuba have struck a deal to allow as many as 110 regular airline flights a day, allowing a surge of American travel to Cuba that could eventually flood the island with hundreds of thousands more U.S. visitors a year, officials said Thursday on the anniversary of detente between the Cold War foes.

The deal reached Wednesday night after three days of talks in Washington opens the way for U.S. airlines to negotiate with Cuba's government for 20 routes a day to Havana and 10 to each of Cuba's other nine major airports, the State Department said. While it will likely take months before the first commercial flight to Havana, the reestablishment of regular aviation to Cuba after half a century will almost certainly be the biggest business development since the two countries began normalizing relations last year.

Even a fraction of the newly allowed number of flights would more than double current U.S. air traffic to Cuba but it may take years to reach that number. U.S. travel to Cuba has risen by more than 50 percent this year alongside an even great surge in travel from other countries, overwhelming the country's outmoded tourist infrastructure.

Havana's international airport is barely able to accomodate current demand for flights into the city and virtually every hotel is booked well into next year.

COLD WAR COUNTRIES CUBA CURRENT DAY FLIGHTS HAVANA STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL UNITED STATES AND CUBA YEAR
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