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US, Cuba reach understanding on restoring commercial flights

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Secretary of State John Kerry John Kerry reopened the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba on August 14, 2015.

HAVANA — Officials say the United States and Cuba have reached an understanding on restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights.

U.S. and Cuban officials said the aviation deal was reached Wednesday in Washington, a day before the anniversary of the declaration of detente between the former Cold War foes.

The deal paves the way for negotiations between the Cuban government and U.S. airlines that could take months, and it’s not clear when the first flights will take off. The three officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

American and Cuban travelers now must fly on charter flights that are complicated to book, rarely involve an online portal and often force prospective travelers to email documents and payment information back and forth with an agent.