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First US Regular Flight to Cuba Marks Bilateral Relations Progress

The first regular US-Cuba flight marks a new advancement in bilateral relations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

US and Cuban flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in downtown Havana, Cuba March 19, 2016. - Sputnik International
US-Cuba to Revive Airline Service After More Than Half Century
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The first regular flight from the United States to Cuba scheduled for Wednesday marks a new advancement in the Washington-Havana relations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"8/31/2016:The 1st US commercial flight to #Cuba since 1961, just over a year after raising the flag at US Embassy Havana. Another step fwd. [forward]," Kerry said on Twitter.

Cuban Deputy Transport Minister Eduardo Rodriguez announced earlier in the month that regular commercial flights between Cuba and the United States would be re-launched on August 31.

​The first direct flight, run by US airline JetBlue, is set to take off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It will fly to the Cuban city of Santa Clara.

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx is expected to travel on the first flight to Cuba, the Havana Times reported, where he is set to meet with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo.

The restored service marks the latest milestone in the slow and cautious thaw in US-Cuban relations. In February 2016, US President Barack Obama announced that regular commercial airline service would be re-opened, reaching up to ten international airports on the Caribbean island nation.

The warming of relations came after Obama announced in December 2014 that his administration would pursue a path toward normalizing relations with Cuba.

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