American Airlines will fly from Los Angeles to Havana

American Airlines will begin once weekly charter flights between Los Angeles and Havana starting on Dec. 12, the carrier announced this week. 

This will be a charter flight sold through a company called Cuba Travel Services, so you won't be able to book it through typical channels. But the airline likely expects travel to Cuba soon will be opened up, and it might be possible to book it on in the future. 

Media have been spinning this is a big deal, but American and other carriers have operated lots of charters to Cuba over the last 20 years, and this is no different. In February 2013, I wrote that United Airlines was stopping its Los Angeles-Havana charter service, which it also flew for Cuba Travel Services.  United had also been flying once per week. 

At the time, the general manager of Cuba Travel Services told me that demand for Cuba trips had been softening. But recent political changes have likely changed that significantly.