Top American officials will travel to Havana Tuesday to sign an aviation pact that would restore scheduled airline service between the U.S. and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years, the U.S. Transportation Department said Friday.
The signing brings into effect an arrangement the Cold War foes agreed upon Dec. 16. American airline operators still must apply for permission from U.S. regulators to fly specific routes before they sell tickets to Cuba.
While charter flights already connect the countries, the accord is expected to increase tourism and business on the communist-ruled island. Airlines expect a gradual payout from the arrangement as well.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin will participate in the signing, the Transportation Department said in a news release.