JetBlue set to take off on historic flight to Cuba
(ABC) -- The first scheduled commercial flight from the United States to Cuba in more than a half century will take off this morning with 150 people on board.
JetBlue Flight 387 is scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 9:45 a.m. and touch down on the formerly forbidden island at 10:57 a.m. in Santa Clara.
The passengers on board the Airbus A320 will be mostly members of the media, airline executives and other VIPs, but about 60 people are regular travelers, lucky to be a part of a historic diplomatic event.
Remarks and receptions will bookend the outbound flight before JetBlue Flight 388 makes its return to the U.S., where it is scheduled to land at 3:35 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale.
The pilots in charge of the first pair of flights between the countries are Captain Mark Luaces and First Officer Francisco Barreras.
Luaces, born in Miami, is the son of Cuban parents who came to the U.S. as teenagers. Barreras is also the son of two Cuban parents who came to the U.S. in 1961. His great-uncle was a general manager for Pan Am in Havana. Another family member was a pilot for the Castro family.
American Airlines, the U.S.'s largest carrier, will fly to Cuba on Sept. 7.
Ten U.S.-based airlines that have now been approved for scheduled service to the island are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country and United Airlines.
Thursday, January 18 2018 2:40 PM EST2018-01-18 19:40:41 GMT
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