Cuban state airline says US sanctions force it to end routes

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba’s state airline Cubana says it is canceling routes to seven international destinations because of Trump administration sanctions on companies that lease planes to the national carrier.

The Trump administration said last Friday that it was revoking licenses of companies that lease aircraft to Cuban state-owned airlines because the airlines use the planes to take tourists to Cuba. U.S. regulations prohibit Americans from engaging in tourism in Cuba. Travel with special purposes, like visiting religious institutions or supporting private businesses and civil society, is allowed.

Cuban state media reported Thursday that companies in third countries that rented planes to Cubana had cancelled contracts, forcing the cancellation of routes to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Domestic routes will also be affected. Cubana said passengers will receive refunds.