The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively given United Airlines and Mesa Airlines the go ahead to start a daily direct service between Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Havana’s José Martí International Airport.
Subject to final government approval, United will expand from Saturday-only service to daily service.
United plans to operate service between Houston and Havana with either Boeing 737-800 aircraft or Embraer E175 regional aircraft. Mesa Airlines will operate regional aircraft as United Express.
Launched in December 2016, United’s Saturday-only service between Houston and Havana has provided thousands of passengers with greater choice and convenience when planning travel to Havana.
Houston, United’s gateway to Latin America, is geographically well situated to connect flights from the central and western US to Havana.
The DOT has also proposed that new routes go to American, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue and said there could be 20 daily flights between the US and Havana.
The routes opened after Alaska Airlines, Spirit, Frontier and Delta dropped service because of weak demand.
American and Delta would each add one daily flight from Miami; Southwest would add one flight daily from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and JetBlue would fly six times a week more from Fort Lauderdale, once a week from Boston.