Via Burn Bag:
So, the Department of Transportation is going to approve direct service to Havana by American flag carriers from many cities, but not from Washington’s Dulles Airport.
This tentative decision explicitly disses those individuals – federal employees on official travel – directly responsible for the opportunity created by the opening to Cuba.
Comments on the tentative decision are due by July 22, 2016.
If the State Department and WHA* cannot fix this, then the entire federal government deserves to sit at layover airports for several hours in each direction.
H e l – l o !
*Western Hemisphere Affairs
Comment: On July 7, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed to select eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights between Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Orlando, and Tampa and Havana as early as this fall. The proposal comes nearly one year after the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations in July 2015. The airlines receiving the tentative awards are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines. According to DOT’s announcement, the agency’s proposal “allocates nonstop Havana service to areas of substantial Cuban-American population, as well as to important aviation hub cities.”
According to nerdwallet.com citing 2013 census data, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD area ranks 12th in areas with top Cuban-American population. If DOT eventually includes Dulles in the direct service to Havana, we suspect that it will not be because federal employees did their jobs in reopening Cuba.