Politics & Government

California to Cuba: Time to fly nonstop, Feinstein and Boxer urge

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba. AP

With President Obama embarked on a historic trip to Cuba, California’s senators want their constituents to be able to follow the president’s lead.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein advocated establishing nonstop flights from California to Cuba in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. As part of the opening of diplomatic relations that has allowed Obama’s journey – the first by a sitting president in several decades – Cuba and the United States have agreed to begin allowing commercial air travel.

That agreement allows for up to 110 daily flights from the United States. As carriers seek federal approval for potential routes, Barbara and Feinstein are urging the Department of Transportation to ensure some nonstop flights will be departing from California.

Noting that the Los Angeles area boasts the nation’s fourth-largest Cuban-American population, Boxer and Feinstein cast California-to-Cuba flights as part of “the process of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations.”

“It is crucial that all Americans have convenient access to Cuba, including the thousands of companies, businesses, and educational institutions that are clamoring for scheduled air service to Cuba,” Feinstein and Boxer wrote in a March 18 letter. “Direct service from California to Cuba will be an important step in ensuring this engagement.”

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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