First flight from Key West to Cuba takes off
December 30, 2013 03:00 PM | 338 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Key West Mayor Craig Cates, right, waves goodbye as he boards a chartered aircraft at Key West International Airport Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, that flew to Havana, Cuba. The trip was the first legal commercial passenger flight from Key West to Cuba in more than 50 years and carried passengers who will remain until Jan. 3, 2014. It was organized by the Florida Keys Tropical Research Ecological Exchange Institute under a people-to-people cultural exchange license. Cates accompanied the passengers but did not stay in Cuba and returned to Key West. At left is Monroe County Airports Director Peter Horton. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau)
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Key West Mayor Craig Cates, right, waves goodbye as he boards a chartered aircraft at Key West International Airport Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, that flew to Havana, Cuba. The trip was the first legal commercial passenger flight from Key West to Cuba in more than 50 years and carried passengers who will remain until Jan. 3, 2014. It was organized by the Florida Keys Tropical Research Ecological Exchange Institute under a people-to-people cultural exchange license. Cates accompanied the passengers but did not stay in Cuba and returned to Key West. At left is Monroe County Airports Director Peter Horton. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau)
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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — The first commercial passenger flight from Key West to Cuba in more than 50 years has landed in Havana.

The nine-passenger flight departed Monday morning, more than two years after U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave Key West the green light to resume flights to and from the island country.

Charter operators have had difficulty getting all of the required approvals from U.S. and Cuban authorities.

Key West International Airport director Peter Horton says Customs and Border Protection signed off on the first flight Monday morning, shortly before the departure. He added that the flight was a test run, as there are no future commercial flights scheduled.

The flight took passengers embarking on a people-to-people exchange to meet with Cubans at botanical gardens, organic farms and cultural centers.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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