A commercial flight from the United States landed in Cuba on Wednesday for the first time in 55 years.
JetBlue Flight 387 took off from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and landed in Santa Clara, Cuba — a historic milestone since President Obama moved to normalize relations with the communist island country.
Up to 110 daily flights, operated by airlines including JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and Silver Airways, will soon begin flying to five Cuban cities. Approval to fly to Havana is to be determined.
The crew on the Wednesday flight included media members, airline executives and many others. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was also on the 72-minute, sold-out flight.
Wednesday's flight marks "a turning point in U.S. relations with Cuba as more affordable and easier commercial flights now make travel to Cuba an option for that many more Americans," James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, said in a statement. "As more and more Americans visit our island neighbor and talk to everyday Cubans, the more Americans will see that the embargo is just an outdated relic of the Cold War era."
Tourism in Cuba remains prohibited under the federal government's embargo, but travel is allowed under 12 categories, including for educational, religious and humanitarian reasons. Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress in June would remove all restrictions on tourism to the island nation.
Here's the 1st commercial ✈️ to Cuba in more than 50 years and the press that photographed it. History was made. pic.twitter.com/p81eA9RouX— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) August 31, 2016
Just landed: @SecretaryFoxx is in Santa Clara, #Cuba! Stay tuned. #USCuba pic.twitter.com/uu4hHEHBLY— TransportationGov (@USDOT) August 31, 2016