Heard on the Hill

D.C. to Havana Nonstop?

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser supports United Airlines' proposed Cuba route

Mayor Bowser wants to see nonstop flights from Dulles to Havana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the United States explores new ways to engage Cuba, particularly with President Barack Obama's trip there this week, the mayor of the nation's capital is hoping there will be nonstop flights from Dulles airport to Havana.  

"The proposed Washington Dulles-Havana service would provide an important link between the two capital cities and serve this promising and growing export and diplomatic market," Bowser wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  

She notes that she traveled to Cuba last month and saw such opportunities for trade and better relations first hand.  

In a letter dated March 14 and circulated Tuesday, Bowser said she supports Obama's policy of increasing ties with the island nation that has been subject to a decades-long economic embargo from the United States.  

She also said that "While I support any carrier with a proposed route, I write to specifically support United Airlines' application for Saturday service between Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Havana's Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)."  

United has long operated a hub at Dulles. It is also proposing daily nonstop flights to Cuba out of Newark, N.J., and weekly flights out of Chicago and Houston.  

Earlier this month, Virginia’s two Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, wrote a similar letter to Foxx to throw their support for United’s plan.  

“With a significant presence of federal employees in Virginia, Washington Dulles service is a clear way to strengthen the new diplomatic relationship between our nation’s capital and Cuba,” they wrote.  

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