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Southwest Airlines

Southwest drops 2 Cuban routes, citing performance, ban

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Southwest Airlines Co. says it will drop flights to two Cuban destinations, citing its struggles to attract passengers and a tougher U.S. stance toward the island nation. Dallas-based Southwest on Wednesday announced service to Varadero and Santa Clara, Cuba, will end Sept. 4. It will continue to fly to Havana from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. President Donald Trump this month announced he’s reversing some of the warmer ties with Cuba that were initiated by the Obama administration. A Southwest vice…

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Jet fuel tax changes set to become law July 1, barring unlikely veto

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The future of Florida’s aviation fuel taxation regime is set for a major overhaul on July 1, if Gov. Rick Scott signs an omnibus tax bill into law as expected. For the state’s largest air carriers, that’s a good thing indeed. The bill removes exemptions to the state’s jet fuel tax, which currently apply to once-upstart carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue beginning in 2018. It would also lower the overall rate for all carriers from 6.9 percent to 4.23 percent, in order to keep the change “revenue neutral,”…

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Airlines prep for holiday crush: More flights, bigger planes

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Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend. Success or failure could all depend on the weather and Mother Nature isn’t making it easy on airlines. Rain and fog in the Northeast caused delays Wednesday morning in Boston, New York and Washington — the busiest part of the country’s airspace. Rain in Chicago and Atlanta caused some…

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2015 Legislative Session Preview: Dogfight breaking out over jet fuel sales tax exemption

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Editor’s Note: As the 2015 Legislative Session approaches, is reporting on several “legislative food fights” likely to break out during the annual lawmaking period. These food fights don’t always make the front page of the Tampa Bay Times, but they are the kind of industry vs. industry or intra-industry turfbattles that drive Tallahassee — and expand the economics for state lobbyists. One focused on an expected scrum between Big Tobacco and trial lawyers. Today’s installment is about a tax exemption on jet fuel…

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