Last updated: 10:23 AM ET, Wed November 30 2016

American Airlines to Reduce Flights to Cuba in 2017

Airlines & Airports | American Airlines | Patrick Clarke | November 30, 2016

American Airlines to Reduce Flights to Cuba in 2017

PHOTO: An American Airlines plane in flight. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

American Airlines has cut almost one-quarter of its scheduled flights to Cuba for early 2017, according to Bloomberg.

The American Airlines Group cited weak demand as the primary reason for the move, which will see the airline drop three daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and Cuba — going from 13 to 10 — beginning in mid-February. 

What's more, the carrier will also operate smaller planes on two of its routes. 

While American travel to Cuba faces uncertainty as President-elect Donald Trump makes his transition into the Oval Office, American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told Bloomberg that the airline's decision had nothing to do with politics since the cuts occurred before the Nov. 8 election.

The weak demand leading American to backtrack is partly the result of too much seat capacity, according to Olga Ramudo, owner of Miami-based Express Travel. Ramudo told Bloomberg that she expects other airlines to follow American Airlines' lead by reducing flights in the near future.

READ MORE: First Flights Land In Havana

She also notes that Cuba still has a long way to go in terms of building up hotels and other travel infrastructure necessary to accommodate an influx of U.S. travelers. It could also be that the repressed desire to visit Cuba that many within the airline industry had anticipated isn't as overwhelming as originally thought.

American Airlines was one of more than a half dozen carriers to begin service to the Cuban capital of Havana this week. And according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, airlines will complete as many as 500 flights to Havana by the end of 2016.

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