U.S. airlines are set to begin commercial service to Havana next month. American Airlines, for example, will be flying to the Cuban capital four times a day from Miami starting November 28, and once per day from Charlotte starting November 30.
But in the carrier's third-quarter earnings call with reporters last week, executives revealed that sales to Cuba are off to a slow start.
In September, American began operating flights from Miami to the Cuban cities of Camaguey, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Holguin, and Varadero. Without providing any details, the company said on Thursday that restrictions in the Caribbean nation are somehow slowing sales to those destinations.
Nevertheless, American CEO Doug Parker insists that a gradual buildup was always part of the plan.
"This is not something we didn't expect," he said. "It's a new market."