Alaska Airlines will halt its lone route to Cuba on Jan. 22, citing tougher travel restrictions put in place by the Trump administration.

The airline launched Los Angeles-Havana service on Jan. 5, shortly after regularly scheduled commercial flights between the U.S. and Havana became legal under the loosened U.S.-Cuba travel policies negotiated by the Obama administration.

However, effective Nov. 9, Americans are no longer allowed to travel to Cuba individually under the people-to-people travel exemption. Visitors to Cuba must travel with licensed tour operators or cruise lines whose itineraries offer activities involving interaction with Cuban people.

Alaska said that about 80% of its flyers to Havana visited under the individual people-to-people exemption.  So, the airline will redeploy aircraft to markets with higher demand. 

"Travel is about making connections, and we were honored to have played a role in helping people make personal connections by traveling between the U.S. and Cuba," said Andrew Harrison, Alaska's chief commercial officer. 

Alaska is the first airline to blame the Trump administration for ending Cuba service. However, carriers had struggled to fill seats on U.S.-Cuba flights well before the administration announced its plans to implement tougher restrictions on Cuba travel in June. By then, Frontier, Spirit and Silver Airways had halted Cuba service while American had made service reductions.

In September, Southwest ended service to secondary Cuba markets Varadero and Santa Clara


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