Flight to Cuba from New York starts July

Now that ice-cold U.S.-Cuba relations have thawed, New Yorkers can enjoy the sun and surf in the communist island nation with a direct flight from Kennedy Aiport, the governor announced Tuesday.

JetBlue, partnering with Cuba Travel Services, is the first major carrier to offer a direct charter flight to Havana from the city on Fridays, starting July 3, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and a return flight from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The New York-based airline already has five weekly round-trip charter flights to Cuba from cities such as Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. New York’s Cuban population is second to Florida.

Cuomo in April took a trade mission to Cuba on April 20 where he met with officials there to promote New York industries and business opportunities from normalized relationships between the nations. He also took a walking tour of the capital where the gear-head governor got to check out the classic American cars that fill Havana’s streets.

Despite the improved relations, there are limits to who can travel to Cuba, including people visiting family, on official business, doing journalism, and participating in arts and athletic competitions.