The Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has arranged extra flights to Cuba through the U.S. travel agency Airline Brokers so that religious pilgrims can greet Pope Benedict XVI when he arrives on the communist isle.
The Miami Herald reports that the flights will carry 300 devotees. The planes will depart from Miami International Airport for Santiago, where the Pope will be celebrating mass on March 26. The plane will then return to Miami with all of the travellers' luggage but not the travelers before returning again to Santiago to ferry passengers to Havana, where the Pope will hold another mass March 28. The planes will then return to Miami until it is time to bring worshipers home from Havana.
A hectic schedule to say the least.
According to Havana Times, the cost of the trip, which includes flights, hotel stays, transfers and meals, is $2,000.
In March 2011, the U.S. approved eight new airports for flights to Cuba, with Key West's airport being approved in October 2011. Today, however, it was revealed that President Obama did not give the go ahead to companies that had proposed running ferry services to the communist state.