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US, Cuba to resume regular airline services

Updated: 2015-12-18 09:38

WASHINGTON -- The United States and Cuba have reached a bilateral arrangement to re-establish scheduled airline services between the two countries, the US State Department said Thursday.

This arrangement will continue to allow charter operations and establish scheduled air service, which will facilitate an increase in authorized travel, enhance traveler choices, and promote people-to-people links between the two countries, the State Department said in a statement.

"A stronger civil aviation relationship will facilitate growth in authorized travel between our two countries," the statement said, adding that the new arrangement is a critical component of US President Barack Obama's policy toward Cuba.

The new arrangement came one year after Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, ending a failed policy of isolation that had lasted for more than five decades.

However, US law continues to prohibit travel to Cuba for tourist activities.

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