Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Alaska Airlines to Stop Flying to Cuba Because of Trump's Latest Restrictions

Alaska Airlines to Stop Flying to Cuba Because of Trump's Latest Restrictions

Alaska Airlines says it will stop flying to Havana after demand dropped and the Trump administration imposed new restrictions on travel to Cuba.

Passengers who have tickets booked to Havana after January 22 will be rebooked on another airline at no additional cost or a full refund, the company said.

Last week, the Trump administration put into effect rules that ended an allowance for "people-to-people" or individual travel to Cuba.

About 80 percent of passengers onboard Alaska's flight to Havana visited under a USA allowance for individual "people-to-people" educational travel. Taking into account the changes in travel policies to Cuba, the airline will redistribute these resources to other markets where demand is still strong, stressed the firm, which began flights between Los Angeles and Havana on January 5, this year.

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Alaska isn't alone in changing its Cuba flight plans.

For those who aren't terribly familiar with the program, the "People-to-People" initiative requires Americans to take part in various cultural experiences in Cuba, essentially, as the name implies, putting them in direct contact with the people of Cuba with hopes of learning about the way of life in the country. The airlines reconnected Americans to an island that had been virtually cut off by a 55-year-old trade embargo and a formal ban on US citizens visiting Cuba as tourists. Redeploying aircraft and crews will help the airline support the growth, according to the airline.

Alaska is the first airline to blame the Trump administration for ending Cuba service. Many of them point out that the limitations will harm the people of the island, the private sector that Trump said he supports, and the USA people themselves, who see their right to travel freely violated.

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