HOUSTON – United Airlines submitted Wednesday its formal application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to provide service from four of its largest U.S. gateway cities – New York, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago – to Havana’s José Martí International Airport in Cuba.
United officials said the airline will be the first U.S. to offer customers daily, nonstop scheduled service to Cuba if the request is approved.
“This is a historic moment for our company, our employees and, most importantly, our customers,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to be the first choice for passengers traveling between the U.S. and Cuba. We’re able to offer customers the best access, convenience and connections to and from Havana through our industry-leading global route network, and we’re excited to compete for this important service.”
The proposal outlines United’s planned service to Havana from hubs serving four of the country’s largest Cuban-American populations. The service would include a total of 11 roundtrip flights per week with daily service from Newark Liberty and one additional Saturday flight, along with a Saturday-only flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare for three weekly flights.
According to United, service to Havana on these routes will be operated with United Wi-Fi-equipped Boeing 737-800 two-cabin aircraft featuring 16 United First, 90 United Economy and 48 extra legroom United Economy Plus seats.
The airline launched UnitedtoCuba.com to create awareness of the significant economic and competitive benefits the airline’s service could provide to individual, business and government customers. The website also offers customers the opportunity to voice their support for United’s service to Cuba.
2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2, March 2, 2016