Six US airlines get approval to fly to Cuba directly from the US

The United States approved scheduled flights to Cuban cities other than Havana from five US cities, with service starting as soon as this fall, the US Transportation Department said.

American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines will be allowed up to 10 daily round-trip flights, the department said. The flights will be allowed from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul, it added.

The United States and Cuba signed an agreement this year restoring commercial air service between the former Cold War foes for the first time in decades. Under the agreement, 20 daily round-trip flights will be allowed to Havana but US carriers have requested nearly 60 flights per day, far exceeding the limit.

The Transportation Department said it expects to reach a final decision on which carriers will get the limited Havana slots this summer.

The department said seven US airlines applied to provide service to other Cuban cities. With the exception of Eastern Airlines, which has not received necessary licensing, the government approved all of the route proposals.