First Direct Commercial Flight in 50 Years Departs US For Cuba

The first direct commercial flight in 50 years between US and Cuba has departed Fort Lauderdale bound for Santa Clara.

JetBlue flight 387 departed on the short trip this morning destined for an airport 175 miles east of Havana at a site renowned for the huge memorial that hosts the remains of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

The historic moment follows moves by President Barack Obama to restore diplomatic relationships with Cuba in 2014, with restrictions on travel to the communist-run island easing.

“We do think it’s an important part of history,” Marty St. George, the executive vice president of JetBlue, told The New York Times. “From a challenge perspective, we know the drill. Cuba has some unique elements because of 50 years of history between the U.S. and Cuba, but we’re ready to go.”

Photos from the event highlight the significance of the moment, with US and Cuban flags in abundance.

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