Aviation Hopeful airlines map out Cuba plans By Michael Fabey / May 07, 2009 Share 1 -- As the Obama administration tries to ease some of the restrictions that have choked travel between the U.S. and Cuba, some airlines are dusting off plans, or creating new ones, to enter the market.For now, the easing of restrictions would most benefit relatives of those living in Cuba, but many in the industry see these first steps leading to a path that could open up travel between the geopolitical foes for the first time in five decades. The first airlines talking openly about new Cuba service are low-cost carriers Allegiant and AirTran. Both already focus on destinations in the Caribbean.Allegiant recently entered into fixed-fee flying contracts with several parties to provide charter service between Miami and four Cuban cities in support of the Cuban family charter program. Allegiant plans to start the service in June.AirTran, which has operated Miami-Las Vegas charters with certified tour operators, has been talking about how charter service could be expanded to Cuba."It would be my guess that probably four or five airlines would like to enter the [Cuba-Las Vegas] market and perhaps other markets down there when the time comes," AirTran CEO Bob Fornaro told analysts during the carrier’s first-quarter earnings call. "I don’t think there will be any lack of service initiatives. So I think there is going to be a lot of interest."