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Senators Call For Nonstop Commercial Flights Between L.A. And Cuba

(An American Airlines charter plane arrives at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Earlier today, President Obama spoke about extending the hand of friendship to the Cuban people from a stage in Havana, and if California's two senators have their way, direct commercial flights between L.A. and Cuba will also soon be extended. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer released a joint letter last week urging the Secretary of Transportation to approve proposed nonstop flights between California and Cuba, putting particular emphasis on the need for direct service between L.A. and Havana. The L.A. area is home to the nation's fourth-largest Cuban American population, and American Airlines has been running a weekly charter flight between LAX and Havana since December 2015.

The United States re-established commercial air travel to Cuba (all flights between the two countries are currently charters) in an agreement signed last month. According to CNN, that February agreement allows for a possible 110 daily round-trip flights in and out of Cuba, including 20 daily flights to Havana's José Martí International Airport.
The Department of Transportation is currently considering applications from U.S. air carriers for those 110 daily slots. Feinstein and Boxer's letter urged the Department of Transportation to prioritize flights between California and Cuba, declaring direct service from California to be "an important step" in ensuring engagement between the two countries.

We'll keep our fingers crossed that the DOT takes heed of Boxer and Feinstein's advice, but for now we highly recommend the lechon asado at Silver Lake's own El Cochinito.

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