Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Bars Private Charter Flights to Cuba

A charter airplane from the U.S. waits to depart on the runway of the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Sept. 18, 2015.

The U.S. Department of Transportation barred private charter flights to Cuba on Thursday in a move designed to put more economic pressure on the Cuban government.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the decision.

“Today, I asked the Department of Transportation to suspend private charter flights between the U.S. and Cuba. The Castro regime uses tourism and travel funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela. Dictators cannot be allowed to benefit from U.S. travel.”

The order was issued on the birthday of the late Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro, who was the country’s prime minister and president. He died in 2016.

The ban will go into effect for most flights on Oct. 13.

The U.S. has taken similar actions against Cuba in the past year. The Transportation Department in May limited the number of charter flights to Cuba at 3,600. Last October, the U.S. also suspended regularly scheduled flights to Cuba, other than those to the capital, Havana.

President Donald Trump has been increasing economic pressure on Cuba throughout his presidency.