U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx celebrates the landing of the first scheduled commercial flight from the US to Cuba in more than 50 years. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
You could say it was a flight that took more than half a century. A JetBlue passenger jet lands in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara Wednesday. The flight opened another chapter in the Obama administration's efforts to improve ties and increase trade and travel with the former Cold War foe. On Board, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TRANSPORT SECRETARY, ANTHONY FOXX, SAYING: "It's a huge moment. So many families. I was just meeting with some of the passengers on the plane. One gentleman, had been born here and hadn't been back for 60 years and he is reconnecting with his family and it's just amazing to see." Jet Blue CEO Robin Hayes has high hopes for the future. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JET BLUE CEO, ROBIN HAYES, SAYING: "Here we are today celebrating this historic first flight. And this is just the beginning. I look forward to growing our service here in the years to come." Foxx also met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Cuba and the United States began normalizing relations in December 2014 after 18 months of secret talks and have since restored full diplomatic ties. The countries had been hostile for more than five decades. Now another chapter closes with the Obama administration hoping regular scheduled flights will help usher in a new era..