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Alaska Airlines applies to begin daily flights to Cuba

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SEATTLE (AP) — Alaska Airlines has filed an application seeking approval to begin flights from Los Angeles to Cuba.

In its application to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Alaska is requesting to operate two daily nonstop flights to Havana using a Boeing 737, which carries 181 passengers.

Alaska Airlines Vice President John Kirby said in a news release Wednesday that as the largest West-Coast-based airline, it’s well positioned to offer travel to Cuba.

At least eight carriers submitted applications to federal officials Wednesday outlining the routes they would like to fly. Officials are expected to award the routes this summer.

All flights between the two countries today are charters, but an agreement signed between the two nations last month allows for up to 110 additional flights — more than five times the current charter operations.