The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted FedEx an extension to delay service to Cuba.
In July 2016, Memphis-based FedEx Corp. was approved by the DOT as the first all-cargo airline to have scheduled flights to Cuba — an authorization that would allow FedEx to operate a daily flight Monday through Friday from the U.S. to Cuba.
That is still the plan, but FedEx now has an additional six months to get started.
“FedEx has requested an extension from the U.S. Department of Transportation to inaugurate U.S.-Cuba all cargo air service five days a week between Miami and Varadero (VRA),” said Sharon Young with FedEx regulatory and public affairs communications. “The extension from April 15 to October 15, 2017, is needed in order to address operational challenges in the Cuban market. FedEx is continuing to work to establish ground support services necessary for express delivery services for our customers.”
Without the extension, FedEx would have needed to begin services by April 15, 2017.
The DOT officially granted the extension March 7. The following statement was listed on the approved DOT document:
“The Department grants the request of Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) for relief, until October 15, 2017, from the 90-day start-up condition applicable to the Monday-Friday Miami-Matanzas frequencies allocated to FedEx by Notice of Action Taken dated July 15, 2016, in this docket. The Department will require that FedEx inaugurate its Monday-Friday Miami-Matanzas service no later than October 15, 2017. We acted on this motion without awaiting expiration of the answer period with the consent of all parties served.”
FedEx Corp. serves about 375 airports across the globe and ships to more than 220 countries and territories, according to its report from the quarter that ended Nov. 30, 2016. Its average volume of shipments each business day is 12 million.
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