New York-based JetBlue Airways will launch Saturday Boston-Havana flights and add a second daily Fort Lauderdale, Florida-Havana service in November, as the carrier ramps up its commitment to the US-Cuba market even as other US airlines pull back.

With the addition of the weekly Boston-Havana route, creating the only nonstop link between New England and Cuba, JetBlue will serve the island nation from four US cities (Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Orlando), more than any US airline.

The added Fort Lauderdale-Havana flight will operate daily Sunday-Friday, doubling the carrier’s weekly frequencies on the route from six to 12. Havana will become JetBlue’s 68th destination overall from Boston and 17th international destination from the carrier’s US Northeast “focus city.”

Additional service rights to Havana for US carriers became available after Denver-based Frontier Airlines, Miami-based Spirit Airlines and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines withdrew from Cuba. After the US-Cuba airline market reopened in late 2016—with flights by JetBlue and American Airlines—during the Obama administration, nine US carriers launched flights. But the market proved to be difficult because of overcapacity and infrastructure issues in Cuba. US President Donald Trump, who took office in January 2017, created even more uncertainty for US airlines when he reversed the previous administration’s opening to Cuba, including banning “people-to-people” travel—which allowed US citizens to travel to Cuba on approved trips.

JetBlue, however, continues to express a strong belief in the US-Cuba air transport market’s potential. But, in announcing the new services, it did caution passengers: “All US customers traveling to Cuba must be authorized to do so under the US government’s Cuban Assets Control Regulations … all travelers to Cuba must make their own determinations with respect to the appropriate travel category, as well as the type of visa required by Cuba for their purpose of travel.”

Aaron Karp/Aviation Daily, aaron.karp@informa.com