The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively awarded United Airlines and Mesa Airlines the authority to begin offering daily nonstop service between Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Havana's José Marti International Airport.
Subject to final government approval, United will expand from Saturday-only service to daily service.
"On behalf of United Airlines, we applaud the U.S. Department of Transportation's decision to increase United service between Houston and Havana from Saturday-only to daily," said Steve Morrissey, United's vice president of regulatory and policy, in a United news release.
United's Saturday-only service between Houston and Havana was first launched in December of 2016. United's increase in service will aim to ensure greater competition in the marketplace and will also aim to improve air service opportunities to Havana for customers in Houston and 44 other destinations in the central and western United States.
United plans to operate service between Houston and Havana with either Boeing 737-800 mainline aircraft or Embraer E175 regional aircraft. Mesa Airlines will operate regional jet aircraft as United Express. Embraer E175 two-cabin regional jet offers 12 seats in United First and 64 seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats.
From Houston, United provides the only service to Havana from the entire central and western United States. In 2017, United Airlines opened its first city ticket office in Havana enabling United to provide Cubans and other international customers the opportunity to purchase travel on United Airlines.
United Airlines and United Express operate roughly 4,500 flights a day to 338 airports across five continents.