ATW Editor's Blog

Cuba: You need passengers, not just planes!

by Karen Walker
Jun 16, 2017

My quick take on US President Donald Trump’s announcement today that the US air services pact with Cuba will remain, but a ban on US tourism to the Caribbean island will be reinforced.

It makes no sense whatsoever.

One needs the other. If US tourists are once more banned from visiting Cuba, then US commercial airliners operating to the island will be mostly empty and those US carriers that leapt to get slots to Havana and other Cuban cities will soon withdraw most, if not all, of their services.  

It’s a crying shame, for Americans and Cubans, but it’s the reality. Maintaining the air service pact is meaningless. You have to have passengers; and if Americans can no longer fly legally as tourists, the destination no longer exists.

Karen Walker

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