A surprisingly large industry of scheduled charter flights from the U.S. to Cuba faces an uncertain future as the U.S. and Cuba negotiate their future relationship, including civil aviation, a topic that has already begun to be discussed by the negotiators.
For the past 50 years, the only U.S.-Cuba flights have been charters, arranged by 8 licensed companies, and limited to passengers who fall into one of the 12 permitted categories of visitors to Cuba. Despite that restricted clientele, the business has grown to the point where American Airlines and its subsidiaries operate 1200 flights a year, followed by JetBlue and smaller carriers.
As the airlines get ready to move into direct operations, once the U.S. and Cuba agree on how many flights and who and where, the charter companies will either disappear, or find new roles in the industry. To learn MORE, follow this story from the Miami Herald.