A round-trip was started from JetBlue from JFK Airport to Cuba on Friday. This was the first major airline offering a weekly connection between the two cities. Travelling to the Caribbean was banned nearly 50 years ago by the then President John F Kennedy.
A massive Cuban flag was hoisted by the Ground Staff, who celebrated the inaugural trip from the terminal Gate No. 21 at JetBlue. Passengers were cheered on; the passengers also included Cubans, who had not flown back home in over a decade.
Lazaro Iglesias, a 44-year-old from Kearny, New Jersey, had stated that returning to Cuba for te first time since his immigration to the US in 2002, had given him butterflies in his stomach.
Nearly 5-feet high boxes full of clothing and electronics had filled up the luggage trolley. The boxes also contained presents for the family at home.
Iglesias also stated that the trip back home was a dream several years ago. Despite the enthusiasm, the flight was seen to be less than half-full. The 150 capacity Airbus 320 could seat had only 60 passengers.
The travel requirements were to be blamed. It limited the trip to purposes like business, education, visiting the family, aid work and for government-related work.
Richard Ramos, an American born 6-year-old excitedly shouted that he was going to his mother’s home. His mother was also excited to go back home and to give her parents a big hug.