Commercial flights between US and Cuba resume after more than 50 years

A JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale in Florida landed in the Cuban city of Santa Clara earlier today

Commercial flights between US and Cuba resume after more than 50 years

Airport workers receive the JetBlue flight 387 holding a United States, and Cuban national flag, on the airport tarmac in Santa Clara, Cuba. Image: Ramon Espinosa / AP/Press Association Images

The first commercial flight between the US and Cuba in more than half a century has touched down in Cuba.

The JetBlue Airways flight from Fort Lauderdale in Florida landed in the city of Santa Clara this morning.

There were 150 passengers on board, the New York Times reports, and they were greeted with parties and celebrations both on departure and arrival.

The plane was also given 'water cannon salutes' in both airports.

Scheduled flights have not been operating between the two countries since 1961.

An agreement reached between the two countries earlier this year allows Cuban and American airlines to operate up to 20 roundtrip flights a day between the US and Havana.

Airlines have also been given the opportunity to operate 10 daily roundtrip flights between the US and Cuba’s nine other international airports.

Eight US airlines are expected to begin scheduled flights to Havana in the coming months.

US transport secretary Anthony Foxx was among the passengers on today's flight.

“Today’s actions are the result of months of work by airlines, cities, the US government, and many others toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage with Cuba,” he said.

“Transportation has a unique role in this historic initiative and we look forward to the benefits these new services will provide to those eligible for Cuba travel," he added.

The resumption of flights marks another significant milestone in the continued efforts to improve relations between the two countries.

Last August the US officially re-opened its embassy in Havana, 54 years after last closing its doors.

In May Barack Obama became the first US president in almost 90 years to visit the island.