Reversing liberalized Cuba travel policies implemented by the Obama administration, President Donald Trump has effectively banned independent travel to the island for Americans and prohibited U.S. citizens from staying at a long list of hotels and restaurants with connections to the Cuban military.
The restrictions — along with lower-than-expected demand even before the new rules went into place — have prompted several U.S. airlines to curtail or abandon their Cuba flights.
USA Today reported November 11, 2017 that the new policies restrict travel to a few narrow categories of travellers. So-called “people to people” travel — the least restrictive category — is still permitted, but such travellers must once again be accompanied by an authorised tour leader as before the Obama-era changes.
The list of 84 banned hotels includes 27 in Havana and 13 in the beach resort of Varadero.
CNBC reported on November 8, 2017 that Sun Country Airlines became the latest U.S. airline to abandon Cuba, relinquishing its right to fly from Minneapolis/St. Paul to the Cuban cities of Santa Clara and Matanzas “due to continued regulatory and market uncertainties.”
Previously, Silver Airways and Spirit Airways announced they were ending their Cuba flights, and American Airlines is reducing the number of its daily flights to the island from 13 to 9.