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A Cuban flag hangs from a building in Havana December 27, 2014. Cuba's most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)
A Cuban flag hangs from a building in Havana December 27, 2014. Cuba's most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)

Travel company starts first direct charter flights between New York City and Havana Add to ...

The first direct charter flights between New York City and Cuba are now taking off.

Cuba Travel Services has started offering a weekly Tuesday charter between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana. The flights are operated by Sun County Airlines, and cost $849 round-trip. The price includes airfare, Cuban medical insurance and U.S. departure taxes.

In January, the Obama administration announced it would be easing travel restrictions.

Despite improving relations, tourism is still banned. Travelers must still declare a purpose that fits into one of the 12 approved categories, including family visits, government work and journalism. But most visitors no longer need to apply for a special license and wait for U.S. government approval.

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