Havana Flights

POLITICO Morning Transportation

By: Lauren Gardner and Jennifer Scholtes

DOT awarded eight airlines routes from 10 U.S. cities to Havana on Thursday, with service set to begin as soon as this fall. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the department made its selection from the dozen carriers that applied based on which "could offer and maintain the best ongoing service" and ensure regions with sizable Cuban-American populations and major airline hubs would be well-served.

The airlines: Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, United, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit.

Bienvenido a: Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando and Tampa.

James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba - a group that lobbies for ending the Cuba trade and travel embargo - called on lawmakers to abolish the tourism ban. "I think many Americans will be surprised to learn that even with daily U.S. commercial flights to our island neighbor, you still cannot travel to Cuba as a tourist," he said in a statement. "Now that the administration has restored commercial flights, it's time for Congress to allow Americans to travel freely to Cuba and lift the travel ban."