FedEx Express (FX, Memphis Int'l) has shelved its plans to start regular dedicated freighter services to Cuba after three years of trying.

The US logistics giant was the only cargo carrier to have been granted Cuban route authorities following the reestablishment of bilateral diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba in June 2015. A year on, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) authorized it to operate a 5x weekly service (weekdays only) between Miami Int'l and Varadero/Matanzas, Cuba. Service was to have begun within ninety (90) days of its requested January 15, 2017 start-up date, or by April 15, 2017.

Despite the allocation, FedEx was unable to meet the deadline and was instead forced to seek recurring six-month extensions given what it had described as unspecified "Cuban regulatory complexities" as well as the Cuban market's "emergent nature".

In a filing to the DOT on Monday, December 17, FedEx then threw in the towel without citing any reasons.

"... FedEx is returning its five weekly frequencies for Miami-Matanzas/Varadero air service, effective immediately, as it evaluates alternative all-cargo service options to Cuba," it said.

The US's decision to tighten the terms under which its citizens can travel to Cuba, as well as strained diplomatic ties, have impacted demand for travel to the Communist-run island. Passenger operators that have thus far been forced to pull out of the US-Cuba market include Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Sun Country Airlines (not commenced) and Silver Airways.