MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hola Cuba!
American Airlines officially began commercial flights to the island Wednesday.
The first flights out of Miami International Airport went to Holguin and Cienfuegos. On September 9th the air carrier will begin service to Camaguey and Santa Clara. Two days later flights will be available to Varadero.
Service to Havana is expected later this year.
American will operate a total of 84 weekly frequencies to Cuba from its Miami hub. American operates more than 345 daily flights to 129 destinations in 44 countries and territories and will have the most flights to Cuba than any other airline.
JetBlue began service to the island out of Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport a week ago.
But before you book a flight to Cuba, remember that Congress has not lifted a trade embargo that prohibits U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba as tourists.
The Obama administration has approved 12 categories of exceptions to the ban ranging from cultural, religious and educational travel to business and visiting family.
That means initial flights will mainly carry Cuban-Americans visiting relatives or other U.S. citizens interested in seeing cultural sites.
Travelers also must contact the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., to find out which visa they will need.
Click here to read more about U.S.- Cuba Relations.