The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an order to suspend all Cuba charter flights. 

The tentative decision has been taken following a specific request from the US Department of State. 

However, exceptions were kept on authorised public charters to and from Havana and other authorised charter flights for emergency medical purposes, search and rescue, and other travel in the US interest.   

The suspension provides a 60-day wind-down period for charter carriers and will become effective on the 61st day, which is 13 October.   

US Department of State Secretary Mike Pompeo tweeted: “Today, I asked the Department of Transportation to suspend private charter flights between the US and Cuba.  

“The Castro regime uses tourism and travel funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela. Dictators cannot be allowed to benefit from US travel.” 

In May, the DOT levied a limit on charter flights to Cuba at 3,600 annually after it banned charter flights to all Cuban airports except Havana in January. 

Frequently scheduled flights to Cuban cities except Havana were also banned since last October. 

In early June, the DOT issued a suspension order for all scheduled passenger flights of Chinese carriers to and from the country, which was relaxed later in the month. 

The same month, it also restricted Air India from operating repatriation charter flights under the government’s Vande Bharat mission to repatriate its citizens.