Seats Still Available on First Regular Direct Flight from Baltimore to Cuba
Photo by David Cogswell
The first regularly scheduled direct flight from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Havana, Cuba, will depart Wednesday, kicking off twice-weekly charter flight service to the Caribbean island nation.
Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland County Executive Steve Schuh, well-known veterinarian Dr. Kim Hammond and Morgan Creek Productions President David Robinson will be among those taking off on the historic flight scheduled to arrive at Jose Marti International Airport in the capital.
But surprisingly, only "30 or so" tickets had been purchased for the flight as of Friday, Island Travel & Tours President Bill Hauf told the Sun.
Phoenix-based Swift Air will operate the flight in partnership with Island Travel & Tours, which is offering roundtrip airfare for $695.
Starting Wednesday, the twice-weekly service will be offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with Swift Air employing a Boeing 737 equipped with 126 seats, a dozen of which will be available for passengers flying first class.
While travel to Cuba for tourism purposes remains prohibited, the scope of restrictions has been narrowed in the wake of the White House's efforts to restore diplomatic relations, with Americans no longer needing to acquire a special license.
"Family reasons, education, religious organizations, journalism, government activities, non-governmental organizations, research, artistic performances — these are all travel activities that are allowed," BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean reminded the Sun. "There are many university groups, nonprofits, religious organizations, government employees, non-governmental organizations and charities in the Baltimore-Washington region that can take advantage of the charter flights from BWI."
The airport's official website states that BWI is one of only 19 airports in the U.S. authorized by Customs and Border Protection to provide charter service to Cuba, with the CBP granting approval in 2011.
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