There have been celebrations galore as U.S. airlines have begun flying to Havana and other Cuban cities from various cities in the east.
But on Thursday, January 5, Alaska Airlines rounded out the renewed schedule of commercial routes from the US-to-Cuba with a flight that starts at Seattle -Tacoma International Airport, stops at Los Angeles International Airport and then continues on to Havana.
I was fortunate to be able to go along for the inaugural ride.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the flight took place at LAX and, once on board, passengers found little flags and an inaugural flight certificate at their seats.
Among the passengers onboard the inaugural flight were 50 political, business and cultural leaders from California and Washington state and ‘regular’ customers taking advantage of the new service – and good fares.
While Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight to Havana was a “first,” it actually wasn’t the first time the airline has flown to Cuba.
According to an airline blog post, in the early 1970s, Alaska Airlines flew U.S. Military Airlift Command charter flights to the base at Guantanamo Bay.
The the modern route is being served by a Boeing 737-900ER with this daily schedule:
|Start date||City pair||Departs||Arrives||Frequency|
|Jan. 5||Seattle-Los Angeles||5 a.m.||7:39 a.m.||Daily|
|Jan. 5||Los Angeles-Havana||8:50 a.m.||4:55 p.m.||Daily|
|Jan. 5||Havana-Los Angeles||5:55 p.m.||8:45 p.m.||Daily|
|Jan. 5/6||Los Angeles-Seattle||11:45 p.m.||2:35 a.m.||Daily|
|Flight times based on local times zones.|
Here are some pics of the cool vintage cars you’ve heard that still exist in Cuba. More details about other sights tomorrow.