HAVANA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- A flight carrying passengers from Miami, Florida, to the central Cuban city of Santa Clara on Thursday marked the restart of U.S. air connections to destinations beyond the capital Havana.
The move followed a U.S. government announcement it was relaxing restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to the Caribbean nation.
U.S. airlines are again scheduled to fly to the Cuban cities of Camaguey, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Santa Clara this month, Cuba's airport management company ECASA said in a statement.
In the coming weeks, flights are set to resume to five other destinations, including seaside resorts Varadero, Cayo Coco and Cayo Largo, and the Cuban cities of Cienfuegos and Manzanillo.
For now, the flights will depart from the U.S. cities of Tampa and Miami, both in Florida and home to most Cuban nationals living abroad.
In recent months, the U.S. government also announced the gradual resumption of consular services at the U.S. embassy in Havana and the lifting of the cap on remittances Cuban Americans send to their families on the island.
During the previous U.S. administration, U.S. charter and regularly scheduled flights were restricted to Havana, in keeping with stepped-up sanctions against the island. ■