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Early this month six U.S. airlines were approved to begin the first scheduled flights to Cuba in more than 50 years. The airlines were approved to fly from five U.S. cities to nine Cuban cities other than Havana. But the department is still considering which airlines will get a combined 20 daily flights to the capital out of nearly 60 proposed flights, which will be announced later this summer. The carriers approved Friday are American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. The 155 combined weekly flights are expected to begin in September and will depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The nine destinations in Cuba are Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba and Varadero. The flights approved Friday:
- American daily between Miami and Camaguey and Cienfuegos, twice daily between Miami and Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero. Flights are proposed to begin in 90 days aboard 160-seat 737-800 aircraft and 144-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.
- Frontier daily between Chicago O’Hare and Santiago de Cuba beginning Oct. 27, four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between Philadelphia and Camaguey beginning Dec. 15; three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between Philadelphia and Santa Clara beginning Dec. 15; and weekly flights on Saturdays between O’Hare and Philadelphia and Varadero starting Jan. 7, 2017. The flights will be on Airbus A320 or A320neo aircraft.
- JetBlue daily between Fort Lauderdale and Camaguey, Holguin and Santa Clara beginning Sept. 8 aboard 162-seat A320 aircraft. Flights are expected to begin within 100 days.
- Silver from Fort Lauderdale five times weekly other than Mondays and Fridays to Camaguey beginning Sept. 22; three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to Cayo Coco beginning Nov. 17; weekly on Saturdays to Cayo Largo del Sur beginning Dec. 8; twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays to Cienfuegos beginning Oct. 6; daily to Holguin beginning Oct. 20; three times weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays to Manzanillo beginning Dec. 15; four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to Varadero beginning Dec. 1; daily to Santa Clara beginning Sept. 8 and daily to Santiago de Cuba beginning Nov. 3. The airline will use 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprop aircraft.
- Southwest from Fort Lauderdale twice daily to Varadero and daily to Santa Clara aboard 143-seat 737-700 aircraft. Flights are expected to start within 90 days.
- Sun Country from Minneapolis weekly on Saturdays to Varadero and on Sundays to Santa Clara. Flights will be on 126-seat 737-700 and 162-seat 737-800 aircraft.