The first commercial flight from the U.S. to Havana, Cuba, launched on January 5, 2016 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), with the inaugural flight carrying an education and trade mission from California and the state of Washington. Alaska Airlines’ new daily nonstop flight includes a connecting service to Seattle, Washington.

“We sometimes overlook the fact that air travel holds tremendous power to connect people and overcome boundaries,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of communications and external relations. “This new West Coast service is another historic step in opening up relations between our two countries and we’re thrilled to host a delegation of trade, tourism and educational leaders to explore Cuba’s capital city.”

The LAX-Havana flight operates using Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. Alaska Airlines, which recently acquired Virgin America, serves 118 destinations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and now Cuba. The airline was one of eight U.S. carriers receiving government approval to fly from the U.S. to Havana, and the only one requesting a West Coast route. The other airlines include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Air, and United Airlines. All other flights to Havana originate on the East Coast of the U.S. except United’s weekly service to the Cuban capital from Houston, Texas.