FedEx Wants to Defer Start of Cuba Services

It all seemed so simple when the past U.S. President, Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raoul Castro agreed to better relations between both countries. This resulted in an opening up of the airways and a flood of applications by U.S. carriers to operate services into Cuban airports.

FedEx freighters (pictured here is a B767F) might not land before mid-October in Cuba.
FedEx freighters (pictured here is a B767F) might not land before mid-October in Cuba.

The demand on both the passenger and cargo side has been somewhat disappointing and since Mr Trump’s election, gone even further downwards.
The Memphis-based freight carrier, FedEx Express, which was the only air cargo carrier to receive rights from the Cuban Civil Aviation Authority, now wants to delay start of operations.

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October instead of April
FedEx sent an application to the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) asking permission to delay the launch of scheduled cargo services into Cuba for six months. The application states that services should only start as of October 15, 2017.
The carrier presently has permission to operate five weekly services from Miami to Varadero. Flights had been planned to start by latest April 15, 2017.

Now it seems that Cuban regulatory setbacks as well as an apparent lack of demand, have forced FedEx to rethink their planned Cuban services.
The carrier seemingly needs more time to ensure that proper customs and support services will actually be in place and in working order before going ahead.

It’s not just a cargo problem
Passenger carriers such as American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have also applied for deferral due to slot difficulties, under trained staff and security aspects which do not comply with present U.S. TSA regulations.

John Mc Donagh

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