The first charter flights to Cuba from Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport will take wing in March, airport officials say.
Weekly direct flights to and from Havana were authorized this year by federal authorities as they continued to relax long-standing restrictions on travel to the communist-ruled island nation that sits 90 miles from Florida.
“We look forward to this charter service, which will provide new travel and exchange opportunities with Cuba,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, executive director of BWI. “There are many organizations and institutions in Maryland and the national capital region that will benefit from this direct access to Cuba and the Cuban people.”
The charters will be provided through Island Travel and Tours, which has been offering flights to Havana from Miami International, New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International airports for people with federal clearance to visit Cuba.
Although the United States is allowing more flights to Cuba, restrictions remain on U.S. citizens who want to visit the country.
There are fewer constraints on academic exchanges, but pure tourism is not permitted.
Travelers are subject to daily spending limits and are prohibited from bringing Cuban souvenirs or other goods home.
The first flight is scheduled to depart BWI at midafternoon March 21.
“We’re extremely excited about serving the Baltimore and Washington community with new, historic, direct flights to Cuba,” said William Hauf, president of Island Travel. “These flights will greatly expand opportunities for increased engagement between the two countries and facilitate legal travel to Cuba for business leaders, government officials, diplomats, academics, cultural groups, agricultural interests, performing arts groups and Cuban Americans wishing to reconnect with their families and their country.”