Delta Air Lines is returning its nonstop flights to Cuba for the first time since these were suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Atlanta-based carrier will reintroduce direct services between Miami (MIA) and Havana (HAV) in early April next year. Once these flights resume—more than three years since its suspension—it will mark six decades since its introduction.
The reintroduction of the route comes as demand for travel to Cuba increases, although there are still strict restrictions for regular tourists coming from the U.S.
In May 2022, the U.S. State Department announced that group-to-group people tours and educational travel would be reallowed again. However, tourists can enter Cuba with certain licensed tour companies, such as InsightCuba, Intrepid Travel, and G Adventures, all of which focus on cultural and educational interactions with the people of Cuba.
“With these actions, we aim to support Cuban’s aspirations for freedom and for greater economic opportunities so that they can lead successful lives at home,” said Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department at the time of the announcement.
Unfortunately, individual people-to-people travel still needs to be permitted. However, 12 categories of travel can be authorized, which are:
- Family visits
- Official government business
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and business meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, competitions, or exhibitions
- Supporting Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Private foundations, research or educational institute activities
- Exportation and importation of goods or information
- Certain authorized export transactions
Once the new route opens, passengers coming from Cuba will have access to 10 destinations across the U.S. via Delta connections. However, the airline is one of many carriers operating flights between Cuba and Florida, and the new route will provide competition to American Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines.
Beginning on April 10, Delta will operate two daily flights between both cities. The first – flight DL1787 – will leave Miami at 9:05 AM, touching down in Havana just an hour and 15 minutes later at 10:20 AM. The return leg – flight DL1788 – will then leave Havana at 11:55 AM, arriving in Miami at 1:05 PM.
The second daily journey – flight DL1789 – is scheduled to leave Miami at 1:40 PM each day, arriving in Cuba at 3:00 PM. Finally, the return leg – flight DL1790 – is expected to take off from Havana at 4:25 PM and land in Miami at 5:35 PM.
Delta will use an Airbus A320 to operate the flights, which have a total capacity of 157 passengers across three classes: 16 in First Class, 18 in Delta Comfort+, and 123 in the Main Cabin.
Onboard, passengers will have a range of snacks and drinks to choose from. They can also enjoy Delta’s inflight entertainment – Delta Studio – which has over 1,000 hours of film, TV, and other content from Peloton and Spotify.
Passengers will also have access to high-speed WiFi onboard and can use a free mobile messaging service via iMessage, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger.