New direct flights between New York and Cuba taking off

NEW YORK (AP) — New direct charter flights between New York City and Cuba are now taking off.

Cuba Travel Services has started offering a weekly Tuesday charter between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana for people authorized by the U.S. government to visit the island. The flights are operated by Sun Country Airlines, and cost $849 round-trip. The price includes airfare, Cuban medical insurance and U.S. departure taxes.

In January, the Obama administration announced it would be easing travel restrictions.

Despite improving relations, tourism is still banned. Travelers must still declare a purpose that fits into one of the 12 approved categories, including family visits, government work and journalism. But most visitors no longer need to apply for a special license and wait for U.S. government approval.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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