With political relations warming between the United States and Cuba, Alaska Airlines flew the first regularly scheduled commercial flight between Los Angeles and Havana Thursday.
Flight 286 departed Los Angeles International Airport at 9:32 a.m., carrying a 50-person delegation of governmental, business and tourism dignitaries on a trade mission, along with more than 100 other passengers, many of whom are returning to Cuba for the first time in decades, according to Alaska Airlines.
A pre-flight ceremony was held to mark the historic flight, with attendees including Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of external relations; Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint; and University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, the first Cuban-born leader of a major American academic institution.
Alaska officials estimated last year that Cuba flights from Los Angeles could serve an estimated 190,000 passengers per year, serving a U.S. city with one of the largest Cuban American populations outside of Florida.
— City News Service
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