Alaska to end Los Angeles-Havana flight

Turns out, travel to Cuba isn't the bomb after all.

Less than a year after Alaska Airlines began daily flights to Cuba amid a burst of red-white-and-blue fanfare, the Seattle-based airline says it'll end them in January.

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"Travel is about making connections, and we were honored to have played a role in helping people make personal connections by traveling between the USA and Cuba", Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer for Alaska Airlines, said today in a news release.

Alaska says about 80% of passengers who travel on the Los Angles-Havana route did so under the US Department of the Treasury's "people-to-people educational travel" category. The airline said new restrictions on travel to Cuba by the Trump Administration, combined with low demand for travel to the communist-controlled island, gave the airline pause about continuing to fly there. Changes to US policy last week eliminated that allowance. The airline expects a big drop in demand.

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The resources that have been devoted to the Havana route will be redeployed to other markets with stronger demand, the airline said.

Last week, the administration put into effect rules that ended so-called people-to-people travel, which had let individual Americans visit Cuba without going through a sponsoring group or university.

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Now, with US diplomats to Cuba experiencing mysterious ailments and symptoms that some say are the result of being bombarded with sound waves while in their hotels, the Trump Administration has made the regulatory changes.

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