Here's how you'll (probably) be able to fly to Cuba this fall


Delta Airlines is one of the U.S. airlines that will likely be offering nonstop flights to Havana, Cuba, come this fall.

The airline, which is the largest carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, won tentative approval to fly to the Caribbean nation's capital from three U.S. cities: Atlanta, New York and Miami, according to a news release.

So you won't be able to fly from MSP to Havana directly – but because MSP is one of Delta's hubs, there will probably be plenty of connecting flights.

Plus, Minnesota-based Sun Country was awarded nonstop flights from Minneapolis to two other Cuban cities: Matanzas and Santa Clara, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced last month.

The routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval, Delta says. But the airline plans to start selling tickets to Havana "this summer."

"We look forward to providing the market with excellent customer and operational performance that will reunite families and support a new generation of travelers seeking to engage and explore this truly unique destination," Nicolas Ferri, a vice president with Delta, said in a news release.

Where else can you fly from?


Delta was among the eight airlines to be awarded the coveted Havana flights.

The others: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) proposal.

The 10 U.S. cities that flights will be leaving from are: Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando and Tampa.

The DOT says these cities are areas of "substantial Cuban-American population" and "important aviation hub cities," which is why they were picked for the proposal.

Still need final approval

These flights still need final approval, the Department of Transportation says. The public can comment on the proposed routes online by visiting regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2016-0021.

The DOT says it expects to "reach a final decision this summer," noting most of the airlines propose to begin flying to Cuba in this fall and winter.

Restoring relations with Cuba

Adding flights to Cuba is part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with the country.

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, it’s been more than half a century since Americans have been able to fly directly to Cuba.

“Today we take another important step toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage Cuba,” Foxx said in a statement Thursday. “Restoring regular air service holds tremendous potential to reunite Cuban American families and foster education and opportunities for American businesses of all sizes.”

Not everyone will be able to go

Cuba isn't open to everyone, though.

Travel restrictions remain – there are 12 reasons you can visit the Caribbean nation, and tourism isn't one of them because it is still prohibited by statute, the DOT says.

Reasons to visit the country include: family visits; official government business; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops and competitions; support for Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research and educational institutes; exportation, importation or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.

For more details on who can travel to Cuba, click here and here.

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