News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Mar. 11, 2011: Charter flights to and from Cuba will soon fly out of eight federally approved U.S. airports.
The new rule is a marked improvement from the three airports only where such flights were allowed out of.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said charter flights can now be scheduled to Cuba from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport, as well as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and international airports in Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The decision is part of the continued efforts by President Barack Obama to expand previously cold relations with Cuba.
Passengers must, however, have close relatives in Cuba, or be involved in the medical or agriculture fields or educational or religious activities under existing restrictions.
Under former President George W. Bush, for instance, Cuban-Americans were allowed to visit only once every three years. Those restrictions ended in April 2009 though most non-Cuban Americans are still barred from traveling to Cuba.