With Trump presidency on the horizon, as his administration prepares for liftoff, American businesses are becoming more and more optimistic that the tremendous business man will continue to pursue business-friendly policies. Some business sectors, however, are showing to be more optimistic than others.
The Airline and the travel industry, for instance, are probably crossing their fingers at the moment that Trump’s tirades against Mexico, Cuba, and other nations don’t restrict travel to those countries, as Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly already expressed concern over American travel to Cuba – a fast growing market for Southwest and other carriers.
“Those flights have high demand both from the U.S. and from Cuba and obviously we’re hopeful that we can continue to operate them,” Kelly said, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. “If the government, for other reasons decides that that’s not possible obviously we’ll obey the law but we’re hoping that’s not the case.”
Southwest is one of the numerous U.S. airlines which began flying to Cuba under relaxed policies, after it was implemented by the Obama Administration. Trump, however, has pointed out that he may take a harsher approach to relations with the nation, as well as other Central and South American countries that are on Southwest’s flight radar.
Kelly also noted that while Southwest remains a primarily domestic carrier, it has begun adding flights to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through a new five-gate international terminal it’s building within the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Flight Patterns Changed
The Consumerist reports that Trump was uncharacteristically silent last week when the Obama White House reversed the decades-old “west foot/dry foot” policy that allowed any Cuban who managed to make it to U.S. shores to remain here legally, although he had said last year that the policy was “not fair.”
Although the decision was sudden, there was general agreement that either Congress or Trump would have revoked the special treatment that Cuban refugees have long enjoyed.
Despite the continuing wrangling over Cuban immigration and trade policy, tourism to the long-isolated country is booming, with a record 4 million visitors last year. With new cruise and airline routes now operating, Cuban tourism officials are expecting at least 100,000 more visitors this year.
But then again, there’s this…
It’s to be seen whether or not Trump will want to carry out these threats and terminate these deals, but I suppose it all depends on what side of the bed he wakes up on that day.