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Silver Airways Files Application to Establish Long Awaited Bridge to Cuba

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Silver Airways, which operates more routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline, today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide long awaited scheduled air service to 10 Cuban destinations from five cities in Florida, including Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples. These are all heavily-populated Cuban American communities in Florida that, in the absence of such flights from Silver Airways, will most likely not have direct flights to Cuba. Cuba-bound travelers from these Florida communities would be forced to drive long distances to other airports if Silver’s requests are not approved.

Silver Airways, which operates more routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline, today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide long awaited scheduled air service to 10 Cuban destinations from five cities in Florida, including Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples.


An infographic accompanying this release is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3a4bcbdb-6b35-44cd-a99c-dc7d9bdf5f89

The people and cultures of Florida and Cuba have been closely linked for centuries. In fact, it was over 100 years ago in 1912 when Henry Flagler completed his historic rail line from Jacksonville to West Palm Beach continuing on to Key West, providing quick ferry connections to Havana, Cuba. Flagler created a much-needed early “bridge” linking Florida's East Coast and the Florida Keys with Cuba, and today, Silver Airways is once again reestablishing this important link with reliable and convenient scheduled service.

“Silver Airways is making a substantial commitment to both the people of Florida and Cuba as we look forward to bridging the large Cuban American populations in Florida to every destination possible in Cuba,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “While many airlines will apply to serve the large, lucrative Havana routes, Silver is applying to provide convenient, direct service to all 10 Cuban destinations from five Florida cities that is essential for our residents. In addition, Florida is our home and we understand this market having flown charters to Cuba in the past for many years."

Silver's application to the U.S. Department of Transportation proposes nonstop service to Havana from Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples with additional one-stop service to both Tampa and Orlando, as well as convenient connections to most of the U.S. via Silver’s extensive airline partnerships. Along with Silver’s multiple Havana route authority requests, the airline is also applying to serve nine additional Cuban destinations from its southern Florida hub of Fort Lauderdale, which is within a 45-minute drive for the majority of Cuban Americans who live in the U.S.

Over two-thirds of all Cuban Americans live in Florida with 80 percent of them located in or south of West Palm Beach. As such and given Silver’s rich history of serving Florida, the Caribbean, and Cuba, Silver Airways is well-positioned to serve all of Florida’s residents and visitors. Silver Airways is Florida’s home-state airline and is the only airline with its primary hub in South Florida, which is uniquely situated to provide the best connections to all of the U.S. through multiple airline partnerships. In addition, Silver's Saab aircraft are perfectly sized to provide sustainable, financially viable year-round service to this relatively small but developing market.

“We are making a strong commitment to serve all of Cuba, including the nine cities beyond Havana where much economic development is expected. There are a number of markets in Cuba that are likely to see little to any service from the other airlines,” said Silver Airways Executive Vice President and CFO Jason Bewley. “At the same time, being awarded multiple routes to Havana is critical to supporting the other nine Cuban markets and making the full bridge to Cuba financially viable and sustainable long term.”

Silver Airways is encouraging Florida residents and travelers to visit its Bridge to Cuba campaign #BridgetoCuba at www.SilvertoCuba.com to show their support for these routes that are much-needed by Florida communities.

About Silver Airways

As the airline of choice for Florida and the Bahamas, Silver Airways operates more routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline. The airline averages 130 daily flights to 25 destinations in Florida (including hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa) and the Bahamas, and the Mid-Atlantic region from Washington-Dulles. Silver is a codeshare partner with JetBlue and United Airlines, and has interline agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, Avianca, Azul Brazilian Airlines, and All Nippon Airways. Silver operates a fleet of 22 highly reliable and fuel-efficient 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turboprop aircraft under its FAA Part 121 air carrier certificate.

Media Contact: Misty Pinson 954-292-8169 mediarelations@silverairways.com

Source:Silver Airways Corp