Airlines move to fill newly available flights to Cuba

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JUST 13 MILES PER HOUR. CAMP.>>Calvin: AND WHILE SOME AIRLINES ARE DROPPING THEIR FLIGHTS TO CUBA, OTHERS ARE RUSHING TO ADD MORE WEEKLY SCHEDULES.>>Laurie: SO WHAT’S BEHIND THIS NEW TREND? AND WILL IT LAST IN OUR HATZEL VELA INVESTIGATES FROM HAVANA.>>Hatzel: FOUR MAJOR AIRLINES WANT MORE FLIGHTS TO CUBA. IN THE PAST COUPLE DAYS AMERICAN, JETBLUE, SOUTHWEST AND DELTA HAVE APPLIED FOR ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS TO THE ISLAND NATION. THE AIRLINES WANT TO FILL THE VOID LEFT BEHIND BY SPIRIT, FRONTIER, AND SILVER AIRWAYS, SMALLER AIRLINES THAT DECIDED TO LEAVE THE CUBA MARKET COMPLETELY.>>THE AIRLINES THAT WENT INTO CUBA FIRST WERE ALL PIONEERS.>>Hatzel: AND LIKE PIONEERS SOME ARE ABLE TO LAST LONGER THAN OTHERS SAID AN ANALYST IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY.>>THEIR RIS TAKERS. THEY HAVE THE REVENUES AND PROFITABILITY THAT ALLOW THEM TO TAKE A LONG-TERM LOOK AT CUBA.>>Hatzel: AS FOR PRICING, HE SAYS IT DEPENDS ON DEMAND. A GOOD SIGN, HE SAYS, IS THAT TWO OF THE FOUR AIRLINES ASKING FOR MORE FLIGHTS ARE LOW FARE CARRIERS.>>I THINK IT’S A GOOD THING FOR CONSUMERS TO HAVE A SELECTION OF AIRLINES, ESPECIALLY IF THEY’RE ADDING FLIGHTS.>>Hatzel: MORE MORE FLIGHTS MEANS MORE SEATS THAT HAVE TO BE FILLED AND AIRLINES HAVE TO COMPETE BOAT YOU TO BOOK A TICKET.>>I THINK IF THEY’RE ABLE TO FIND PEOPLE TO FILL THOSE SPOTS, IT WOULD BE BETTER.>>Hatzel: THIS CALIFORNIA RESIDENT FLEW AMERICAN AIRLINES AND WAS ADVISED SURPRISED TO SEE FEW PEOPLE ON HER FLIGHT. SHE THINKS THAT’S PARTLY BECAUSE MOST AMERICANS STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU GET TO CUBA.>>IT IS A RIGOROUS PROCESS BECAUSE THEY REQUIRE YOU TO DOCUMENT WHAT KIND OF TOURIST YOU ARE.>>Hatzel: WE MET THESE 3D FROM TAMPA WHO HAD JUST AVID ON THEIR FIRST TOUR.>>I THINK IT’S GOING TO INCREASE. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE I MENTIONED I WAS GOING TO CUBE AND THEY SOUND VERY INTERESTED.>>Hatzel: THEY PAID $177 ROUND TRIP ON SOUTHWEST. THEY’RE NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PRICE, ABOUT THE OTHER TOURISTS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE HASSLES THAT COME WITH TRAVELING TO CUBA.>>IF THE U.S. AND CUBA ARE ABLE TO LINK UP FINANCIAL NETWORKS AND SO IT’S EASIER FOR AMERICAN TRAVELERS, FOR EXAMPLE, TO WITHDRAW CASH THE A CUBAN BANK ATMs OR USE THEIR U.S.-ISSUED CREDIT CARDS AT CUBAN MERCHANTS, THAT WILL HELP WITH TRAVEL TO CUBE.>>Hatzel: THOSE CHANGES WHEN IT COMES TO THE FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BOTH COUNTRIES IS IN THE HAND OF THE U.S. CONGRESS WHICH RIGHT NOW IS DEALING WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE. OUR AIRLINE ANALYST SAYS IF TRAVELING TO CUBA CONTINUES TO CHALLENGING, PERHAPS WITHIN A YEAR YOU WILL SEE THESE SAME

 

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