First US commercial flight to Cuba in more than 50 years lands

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Relations have been improving after years of tension (Source: Getty)

The first US commercial flight to Cuba in more than 50 years has landed in Santa Clara, in a symbol of improving relations between the two nations.

JetBlue Flight 387 landed in Santa Clara after taking off from Fort Lauderdale, half a century after the last commercial flight as tension arose during the Cold War.

Diplomatic ties were restored in part due to the efforts of President Barack Obama in 2015.

The countries had been hostile for decades after Fidel Castro overcame US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1959 revolution.

Read more: Obama to meet Cuba’s Castro at UN in New York

Cuba then became a communist state with close ties to the Soviet Union.

US transport secretary Anthony Foxx and JetBlue chief executive Robin Hayes were aboard the 150-seat Airbus A320.

The US department of transportation expects a maximum of 110 daily flights to start being operated by airlines including JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and Silver Airways.

While the Obama administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba, a travel ban for for US citizens visiting the country remains in place.

Tags: Barack Obama