The Obama administration is trying to make it possible for travelers to fly on regularly scheduled commercial flights to Cuba by year’s end. 

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the administration is working on a deal to establish regular air service between the U.S. and Cuba as early as December for the first time since the Cuba trade embargo was enacted more than 50 years ago.

The news comes less than a week after Secretary of State John Kerry presided over the raising of the American flag at the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana, a ceremony attended by ASTA President Zane Kerby.

The Obama administration relaxed regulations on travel to Cuba as part of a diplomatic thaw between the two nations in January, and airlines and GDSs have already begun preparing for the possibility that direct fights could become legal options for travelers.

Delta, American and JetBlue have all increased their charter flights to the island, and in June, Travelport announced new GDS software that enables U.S.-based travel agencies to sell and book flights to and from Cuba for authorized travelers.

U.S. residents can currently travel legally to Cuba for one of 12 approved reasons, including professional, educational, religious and humanitarian purposes.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI