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US, Cuba could restore commercial flights soon

Posted: 7:23 PM, Dec 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-16 00:23:42Z

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says it is close to an agreement with Cuba on restoring regularly scheduled, commercial flights between the countries.

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who heads the U.S. embassy in Havana, says aviation is among several topics where the two sides could soon reach an understanding.

American and Cuban officials are discussing the matter in Washington this week. The Obama administration has been trying to finish the aviation part of U.S.-Cuba normalization talks before the end of the year.

Right now, American and Cuban travelers must fly on charter flights that are complicated to book, and rarely done online. Travelers sometimes must arrive at the airport four hours in advance; strict baggage limits apply.

DeLaurentis told reporters Tuesday that American travel to Cuba is up 50 percent this year.