Monday, February 20, 2017

Airline cutbacks suggest that Americans aren't as interested in traveling to Cuba as hoped

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 10:59 AM

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  • JetBlue/Facebook
When President Obama announced the thawing of relations with Cuba back in 2014, many expected that Cuba would become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for Americans.

But now, just over two years in, the outlook isn’t so sunny. Airlines were quick to fill the 110 daily flights to the island that began roughly six months ago, but as demand is leveling off, many are cutting back on their amount of tickets to the Communist nation.

Bloomberg is reporting that American Airlines is cutting its flights by a quarter, while JetBlue is downsizing the planes it uses for its Cuban flights. Speaking to an expert in Cuban travel, Bloomberg points out that part of the issue is a lack of history to base demand predictions on, due to the 54-year-old embargo.

There are still a lot of hurdles for Americans to jump to take a fully legal trip to Cuba. The embargo remains intact, blocking Americans from visiting the island for purely tourist reasons, and prevents American credit card transactions, which forces visitors to carry large amounts of cash with them.

There was a lot of demand in the first few months, but as time has gone on inflation has caused prices to quadruple in Cuba, making this a pricey option compared to other tropical destinations.

Still, many travel operators remain optimistic.


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