|Cuba // Photo by Joe Pike|
United Airlines recently submitted its final procedural filing to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to begin commercial air service to Cuba from its global gateways in Newark/New York, Houston, Washington and Chicago to Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.
United’s application has received more than 17,000 letters of support from its employees and customers, along with business and cultural leaders and elected officials at all levels of government.
An outpouring of support from cultural institutions in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Illinois sent to U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx underscores the demand for U.S.-Cuba cultural exchange opportunities from four regions across the country, especially from the metropolitan areas United has applied to serve, according to a statement issued by United.
United’s proposed daily nonstop flight from Newark Liberty International Airport would provide unique value in serving the Newark/New York region, the largest metropolitan area in the country and home to the second-largest population of Cuban Americans. For more than 20 years, United has offered the Newark/New York City region the most flights to the most destinations around the world.
Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport is United’s gateway to Latin America. Rated as one of the most efficient points of entry for foreign travelers, United offers 91 daily nonstop flights to 52 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean from its Houston hub. Bush Intercontinental will be an important gateway for service to Havana and will directly connect 20 markets across the central and western United States to Cuba with just one stop. The Cuban-American population in the Houston metropolitan area ranks eighth nationally.
The Washington metropolitan area is home to the nation’s tenth-largest Cuban-American population and to key political and economic organizations building the U.S.-Cuba relationship. United’s service between Washington Dulles and Havana will link two international capitals with weekly nonstop service.
Chicago is home to the country’s sixth-largest Cuban-American community. United, Chicago’s hometown airline, offers nearly 500 daily flights from O’Hare International Airport, which the Airport Connectivity Quality Index noted for having the best connections to other U.S. airports, large and small.