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The First American Airlines Flight From LAX To Cuba Takes Off Saturday

Havana (Tod Seelie / Gothamist)
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On Saturday, the first charter flight from Los Angeles to Cuba will depart. American Airlines will be flying weekly from LAX to Havana starting this Saturday at 12:30 p.m., the L.A. Times reports. This is the airline's first flight to Cuba from the West Coast, though they have already been providing service to Cuba from Tampa and Miami. The flights are sold via Cuba Travel Services, and start at $899 per person. Mayor Eric Garcetti and airport officials will hold a ceremony before the flight's departure.

The airline announced the new service back in August, a week after the U.S. Embassy in Havana opened in Cuba after 54 years.

Passengers will still have to provide their reasons for visiting the country, and it can't simply be tourism. There are a total of 12 permitted reasons, including journalism, visiting relatives or some kind of cultural exchange, such as education, volunteerism or artists collaboration.

Commercial flights could happen, but only after a civil aviation agreement is reached with Cuba. "We stand ready to offer scheduled service as soon as the U.S. and Cuba allow commercial flights," American Airlines senior VP Art Torno said in a statement.

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