Alaska Airlines has announced that it will close its daily flight to Havana, Cuba. The last flight must be held on January 22, and the aircraft used on the route, as well as its crew, must be used on some flight with higher demand, still to be defined by the airline.
The cancellation of the route will occur less than a year after its launch on January 5 of this year, starting in Los Angeles, after negotiations between the Cuban government and former President Barack Obama have resulted in legalization of scheduled commercial flights between countries.
“Traveling is making connections, and we are honored to have played an important role in connecting people while traveling between the United States and Cuba,” said Alaska Airlines commercial director Andrew Harrison. The cancellation of the flight, he said, would be due to lack of demand. “We constantly evaluate every route we fly to make sure we have the right number of seats for people who want to go to the destination,” he said.
ALASKA BLAME TRUMP POLICY
The blame for the discontinuation of the route would be a new political stance put in place last week by the Donald Trump administration, which hampers travel by US citizens to Cuba. The measure, which had already been approved in June this year, eliminates the “people-to-people” policy between the two countries, which allowed Americans to embark on trips to connect with the Cuban people.
According to the El Pais website, the new policy, which came into operation last Thursday (9), requires that Americans who wish to travel to the Caribbean island for educational reasons have the approval of some US organization, including the need to be accompanied by the organization in question to make the trip. Commercial aviation between US and Cuba is still allowed.
In addition, travelers from the United States would be prohibited from conducting “direct financial transactions” with an extensive list of Cuba-related entities, including 84 hotels and a number of travel agencies, according to O Globo. Enterprises from hotel chains like Meliá and Iberostar would be on the ban list.
About 80% of travelers from Alaska to Havana travel under the terms of the “people-to-people” policy, and according to the airline, the demand for passengers for the flight would not justify the continuation of the flight. route.
Alaska Airlines would have been the first company to blame the Trump government for ending service to Cuba, according to Travel Weekly. So far Frontier, Spirit and Silver Airways have already canceled flights to Cuba, while American Airlines has cut frequencies to Cuba.