First commercial Orlando-Havana flight in decades leaves for Cuba
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Just four days after the death of Fidel Castro, a non-stop commercial flight will take off from Orlando on Tuesday morning and land in Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.
The JetBlue flight is scheduled to take off from Orlando International Airport at about 8:30 a.m.
For decades, people thought it would take the death of Castro to open up travel to Cuba. In reality, restrictions on travel from the U.S. had already eased since Obama lifted some rules last year by executive order.
Despite the relaxing of travel restrictions, going to Cuba isn't exactly like hopping a flight to another Caribbean destination. Pure tourism remains illegal under U.S. regulations that allow 12 categories of travel to Cuba. They include religious and sports activities and educational travel promoting "people-to-people" contact — which is the clause most United States citizens travel under.
For Americans without family ties to Cuba, the most popular form of travel had been on tightly focused educational trips organized in conjunction with the Cuban government. The Obama administration lifted that group requirement in March, leaving Americans free to travel to Cuba as long as they can credibly describe their trips as educational.