The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
has tentatively awarded United Airlines and Mesa Airlines
authority to begin offering daily nonstop flights between
Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Havana's José Martí International Airport.
Subject to final government approval,
United will expand from a Saturday-only service to daily service.
"On behalf of United Airlines, we applaud the U.S. Department
of Transportation's decision to increase United service between Houston and Havana from Saturday-only to daily," said Steve
Morrissey, United's vice president of regulatory and policy. "We
also want to congratulate Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Houston
Mayor Sylvester Turner, as well as Texas Congressmen Kevin Brady,
Gene Green, Pete Olson, Ted Poe, the Houston Airport System, the
Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of
Commerce for supporting our collective goal to improve air service
between Houston and Havana and offering customers throughout the
central and western United States more opportunities to make
convenient connections in Houston."
United plans to operate flights
between Houston and Havana with either Boeing 737-800 mainline
aircraft or Embraer E175 regional aircraft. Mesa Airlines will
operate regional jet aircraft as United Express.
The Embraer E175
two-cabin regional jet offers 12 seats in United First and 64
seats in United Economy, including 16 extra-legroom Economy Plus
Houston, United provides the only service to Havana from the
entire central and western United States. In 2017, United Airlines
opened its first city ticket office in Havana enabling United to
provide Cubans and other international customers the opportunity
to purchase travel on United Airlines.