Cuba has become the trendy city for US airlines. Cuba hasn’t had commercial airline service from the US in my lifetime, and the initial award of flights to Havana is definitely newsworthy. I’m just wondering how the airlines intend to fill all these flights. At any rate, the DOT announced the airlines and cities that would receive the 20 slots up for grabs. These are tentative awards for now, though I’m not sure what circumstances would cause the DOT to change their mind. The tentative allocations look like this:
I think the DOT made some smart choices here. I especially like the focus on non-legacy carriers, with airlines other than American, Delta and United getting over half the slots. It’s not terribly surprising that there are so many frequencies awarded for routes from Florida since that’s where the lion’s share of Cuban immigrants call home. I took a look back at my predictions from a few months ago to see how I did. Here was the chart I published back then:
I had Miami almost correct. I liked my logic back then for Delta to have two Miami slots and no Atlanta slot. There’s an obvious argument about connecting traffic with the Atlanta flight, but Delta has plenty of connecting traffic at JFK where they also got awarded a slot. I still don’t really get the Charlotte slot for American. They can cover plenty of connecting traffic out of Miami since that’s a big hub for them. There aren’t many places Charlotte serves that Miami doesn’t.
I like the LAX flight for Alaska but I would have thought the DOT would want competition there since it’s the only western city offering service. To that end, I think DFW for American would have made more sense than Charlotte, since connecting in Atlanta and Charlotte are substantially similar, where DFW opens up better connecting options in the midwest.
The Newark flight for United just seems like a throwaway with 2 other flights from the New York area. Strategically, I guess United did the best job putting together their application to get what they want, as Newark was the only daily service they requested. Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa all make sense to me, but I’m still a little surprised the DOT didn’t give a single flight to Silver Airways. I’m guessing that’s because Silver Airways only flies smaller turbo-props, but really, how many seats can Havana support on a daily basis?
Is It Time To Go To Havana?
I still find myself asking the same question I asked a few months ago, are you going to Cuba? One of my primary concerns back then was whether my cell phone would work. We kind of answered it with news that Verizon has a roaming agreement in Cuba, we just don’t know how reliable the network is.
I seriously question Cuba’s ability to open its arms to so many people at once. And yet, I really do want to get down there before there’s a McDonald’s on every corner, but at least I can redeem Starpoints for a hotel room in Cuba.
The post Which Airlines Will Be Flying To Havana, And From Which Cities? was published first on Pizza in Motion