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Two Airlines Want Tampa Flights To Cuba

Steve Newborn
Havana Airport

The U.S. Department of Transportation put out the call for carriers to apply for 20 coveted daily flights to Cuba. 

Among the applicants are two carriers that fly out of Tampa: JetBlue and Southwest. Both carriers applied for permission to make two daily flights to Havana from Tampa International Airport, spokeswoman Janet Zink said. 

Tampa International has been operating charter flights to Cuba since 2011, using airlines including JetBlue. Zink said the airport has served nearly 250,000 passengers through those flights.

The transportation department's criteria includes looking for "maximum public benefit, competition and to make sure the flights can be sustained."

Zink said carriers based out of Tampa are strong contenders, as this is home to the third-largest Cuban-American population in the country, and there already is public support for the flights. 

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