>> The first scheduled commercial passenger flight from the United States to Cuba touching down on Wednesday. Reuters was part of the landmark event.>> On Wednesday history was made as a commercial flight departed from the United States to Cuba for the first time in more than half a century.
I'm Jeffrey Gaston reporting from more than 20,000 feet in the air on JetBlue Airways aircraft. Right now we're flying from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba. A city in the center of the island known for its monument to Che Guevara.>> The flight took place just a year after the US reopened its embassy in Havana.
Marking another step forward in the Obama administration's' efforts to improve ties between the two cold war foes. The US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, JetBlue CEO, other officials and journalists were aboard the 150 seat plane. And travelers of Cuban descent occupied nearly half the seats on the flight. Until Wednesday, passengers between Cuba and the United States, had to take chartered flights.
US citizens are still banned from visiting Cuba as tourists except those who are traveling for business, cultural, religious and educational reasons. A pact between Cuba and the United States will limit Havana flights to 20 round trips per day. But that's enough to make a huge difference for some.
>> Ladies and gentlemen, I don't suggest to you that today's flight rivals walking on the moon or anywhere on the scale of achievement of human endeavors. But I will say this, for today's flight to Santa Clara on JetBlue. And borrow a thought from Commander Armstrong when I say, one short flight for passengers, one huge advancement in reconnecting the world's humanity.