Historic commercial flight from US departs Fort Lauderdale, lands in Cuba

Posted at 7:44 AM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 11:35:43-04

SANTA CLARA, Cuba (AP) — The first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba in more than a half century landed in the central city of Santa Clara on Wednesday morning, re-establishing regular air service severed at the height of the Cold War.

The flight of JetBlue 387 opens a new era of U.S.-Cuba travel, with about 300 flights a week connecting the U.S. with an island cut off from most Americans by the 55-year-old trade embargo on Cuba and formal ban on U.S. citizens engaging in tourism on the island.

RELATED: More Cuba coverage | Local flight times

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx tweeted Monday that he would be on board the flight.

U.S. law still prohibits tourist travel to Cuba, but there are now a dozen categories of authorized travel, including family visits, journalist visits and educational activities.