Last updated: 10:08 AM ET, Thu December 01 2016

Delta Air Lines Returns to Cuba After 55 Years

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Patrick Clarke | December 01, 2016

Delta Air Lines Returns to Cuba After 55 Years

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

For the first time in 55 years Delta Air Lines is operating commercial flights to Cuba.

The carrier launches regularly scheduled passenger service from the U.S. to Cuba Thursday, with nonstop daily flights taking travelers from Miami, New York and Atlanta to the Cuban capital of Havana.

The initial flight, Delta Flight 625, departed Miami International Airport at roughly 9 a.m. Thursday and was scheduled to arrive at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport approximately one hour later. Additional Thursday flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are scheduled to arrive in Havana shortly before noon and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

Moving forward, Delta, which has opened a City Ticket Office in downtown Havana, will offer 3,000 seats weekly between the U.S. and Cuba.

READ MORE: First Flights Land In Havana

The Atlanta-based carrier is one of eight airlines the U.S. Department of Transportation recently cleared to fly to Havana. One of those carriers, American Airlines became the first commercial airline to touch down in Havana since 1961 upon arrival Monday.

It's worth noting that Delta is the only existing U.S. airline to previously fly between the U.S. and Cuba before service was suspended on December 6, 1961. The carrier began offering nonstop flights between New Orleans and Havana more than eight years earlier following its merger with Chicago and Southern Air Lines.

"Today marks the resumption of service to a storied travel destination that has lacked a direct connection to the U.S. for most of our lifetimes," said Delta's executive vice president of global sales and president of international Steve Sear in a statement. "We thank the authorities and officials who allowed us to resume passenger service and are proud of the Delta team who worked tirelessly this past year to add that dot back to our route maps after its absence for more than half a century."

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