American Airlines Group will reduce the amount of flights going to Cuba in 2017 by 25 percent, according to a spokesman for the company. American Airlines claims this is due to a decrease in travel demand and not a result of Donald Trump being elected.
American, the largest airline in the world, will provide only one trip per day as opposed to two. The decreased flights will begin in mid-February, affecting departures from Miami that arrive in Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero. Spokesman Matt Miller declared that during this time, only 10 round-trip flights will be offered instead of 13.
In addition to the reduced number of flights, American Airlines is seeking to reduce the total capacity on aircraft that travel to Cuba along three of the seven routes. In place of the conventional 160-seat aircraft that is used to travel from Miami to Holguin, the airline intends to utilize a plane that can accommodate only 128 passengers instead. Furthermore, American hopes to contract a 76-seat Cuban aircraft for flights to Camaguey and Cienfuegos.
“This was done purely to remain competitive in the market. We can’t speculate on what the next administration may do,” Miller said.
Conventionally, airlines do not perform very well when traveling to locations where access was previously restricted. That being said, Ameircan Airlines has experienced a surge of passengers wanting to visit Cuba, and some may find it odd that the airline wants to reduce the total number of flights it offers.
Atmosphere Research Group’s Henry Harteveldt stated, “If American can’t earn the profit that it requires from these routes, they’re going to cut back on the flying. It’s as simple as that.”
President-elect Donald Trump recently threatened to cut ties with Cuba once again if Havana was not willing to “make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole.”
During December 2014, the United States and Cuba finally began to warm their frigid relations after 18 months of talks had led to restored diplomacy.
One of the agreements reached permitted U.S. flights to travel to Cuba this year. The Obama administration has been more lenient with restrictions on travel to the country, but still disallows general tourism.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress suggest that the trade embargo against Cuba be maintained. For more information regarding the trim on Cuba flights, [Click Here].
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