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JetBlue, Delta seek OK for flights from Kennedy to Havana

JetBlue flights are seen at John F.

JetBlue flights are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 15, 2016. Credit: JetBlue flights are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 15, 2016.

At least two major U.S. airlines are seeking federal approval to offer commercial flights to Cuba from Kennedy Airport.

Delta Airlines and JetBlue announced Wednesday afternoon that they are seeking U.S. Department of Transportation approval for daily service between New York and Havana.

Several other major airlines also announced plans to vie for a share of the 110 total daily round-trip flights to Cuba that soon will be awarded to U.S. carriers.

JetBlue is requesting two daily flights from Kennedy to Havana, and one from Newark Liberty International Airport. The airline also wants to fly to Havana from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and Boston.

The Long Island City, Queens-based carrier said the commercial flights would start Sept. 8. JetBlue has been providing charter flights to Cuba since 2011, the airline said.

Delta said it applied for daily nonstop service from Kennedy to Havana, but didn’t disclose specifics in a news release. The airline also wants to offer daily flights to Havana from Atlanta, Miami and Orlando.

Airlines had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit their route applications to DOT. The routes are expected to be awarded by late spring or early summer.

United Airlines is proposing 11 weekly round-trip flights to Havana, eight of which would depart from Newark.

Southwest Airlines is seeking daily nonstop service from several Florida locations, including Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando — three of the four cities Southwest serves with daily direct flights from Long Island MacArthur Airport.

In December, the U.S. and Cuban governments finalized a historic agreement to re-establish scheduled air service between the nations, which hadn’t existed for more than 50 years.

The arrangement allows American carriers to operate 20 daily roundtrips between the U.S. and Havana, plus 10 daily roundtrips between the U.S. and each of Cuba’s nine other international airports.

Travelers are currently restricted to a dozen categories, including family visits, government business, religious activities, performances and humanitarian projects.

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