Nov. 29 is H-Day for United Airlines.
Havana, that is.
United will begin its Havana, Cuba service on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from two of its hubs. On that day, United will start daily nonstop flights to the Cuban capital from Newark-Liberty in the New York City area, and follow it with Saturday nonstop service from Houston.
Provided they fall under one of the 12 categories designated by the U.S. for travel to Cuba – restrictions are still in place on general tourism even though the Obama Administrations restored diplomatic relations with the Cuban government – travelers can now begin booking flights to Havana via united.com.
Since the U.S. Department of Transportation announced its preliminary Havana route awards in July, approving them last week, United said it has been working closely with the Cuban government to prepare for the start of its operation into José Martí International Airport.
[READMORE: READ MORE: DOT Approves Airlines For Havana Routes
"I'm incredibly proud of all the dedicated aviation professionals here at United who are working hard to get our historic Cuba service ready for takeoff in November," United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. "The final approval by the DOT reaffirms that our flights will ensure better choice, convenience and competition for all travelers on this important route, and I want to thank the DOT for their decision."
Since Munoz took over barely a year ago, he said he wanted to expand United’s international routes and had long expressed an interest in Cuba. Despite a heart scare last October that briefly led to him step down, Munoz has accomplished that task.
In just the last five months, United has started nonstop service between the U.S. and Auckland, New Zealand; Tel Aviv, Israel; Xi'an, China; Singapore; Hangzhou, China; Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Nassau, Bahamas, and Lisbon, Portugal.
Daily nonstop service from Newark-Liberty gives the Chicago-based carrier one of the most important new routes in the world, a route handed out by the DOT to just eight U.S. airlines.
The Newark/New York City region, the largest metropolitan area in the country, is home to the second-largest population of Cuban Americans, trailing only Miami.
United will operate both services from Newark and Houston with Boeing 737 aircraft.