The first U.S. commercial passenger flight to Cuba in over fifty years landed Monday. But U.S. airlines flying there will lose money in the short run. Fred Katayama reports.
A historic flight Monday. The first U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in over 50 years landing in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. JetBlue's A-320 carrying officials, reporters and regular travelers symbolized the Obama administration's efforts to improve relations and boost trade and travel with its former Cold War era foe. But Obama has been unable to get Congress to lift the U.S. trade embargo. Locals like Ariel Veitia say they look forward to an increase in tourism, but Americans are still prohibited from visiting as tourists. Only those visiting family or those traveling for educational, religious or business purposes can go there. (SOUNDBITE) ARIEL VEITIA, WORKER IN A PRIVATE RESTAURANT CALLED 'CASONA-GUEVARA' (SPANISH) SAYING: "That's a very favorable expectation for us because the tourists that come from the United States can learn how pretty these installations are and that has so many repercussions for the people of Villa Clara." U.S. airlines rushing to start flights will probably lose money in the short run because of travel limitations, say consultants. Currently, destinations don't include the capital city, Havana. Eventually, when flights to Havana are added, they will be limited to 20 daily round trips.