U.S. airlines eager to fly to Cuba

How big could tourism in Cuba get?
How big could tourism in Cuba get?

It has been decades since U.S. airlines could make commercial flights from the States to Cuba, but that is about to change.

JetBlue (JBLU), Delta (DAL) and United (UAL) airlines are already expressing interest in adding the route.

On Thursday, the White House announced details about new regulations that will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. They come after President Obama said he would begin thawing relations with the Communist country last month.

"We plan to serve Cuba, subject to government approvals, and look forward to doing so from our global gateways of Newark and Houston," a United spokesperson said Thursday.

Related: Obama's Cuba details revealed, to make travel easier to island

Under the relaxed rules, travel agents and airlines can book tickets for U.S. citizens to Cuba without a special license from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

And Americans will be able to visit, so long as the trip meets certain criteria. Those traveling to the island will also be allowed to use credit cards, a restriction that complicated trips to Cuba in the past.

Related: The promise for American businesses if Cuba sanctions are lifted

The policy change is shy of a complete lifting of the embargo, which requires Congressional action. It came as part of a larger deal that secured the release of Alan Gross, an American government subcontractor who was imprisoned on the island for five years.

Details about the travel rules were just released on Thursday and the Department of Transportation said that it expects many U.S. airlines will be interested providing service on this route.

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