THE RULES CHANGED RECENTLY. CAN I STILL FLY TO CUBA?
YES! On June 9, 2017 the President announced several changes related to legal travel to Cuba. Previously, individuals were responsible for certifying the purpose of their trip. Now, anyone traveling to Cuba must utilize the services of an approved sponsoring agency (such as Cuba Handling) to organize the lodging and itinerary for the group traveling to Cuba. It is also now the responsibility of the sponsoring agency to ensure that the group's itinerary is compliant with the new rules. So, in short, you can absolutely fly to Cuba and have an incredible experience! You simply need to organize your lodging and itinerary through a sponsoring company - and Cuba Handling provides that service. We make your trip simple, easy, and legal.
WE NORMALLY USE ANOTHER COMPANY FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL TRIPS. WHY IS CUBA HANDLING DIFFERENT?
The leadership of AOPA, NBAA, and GAMA have all selected Cuba Handling to manage 100% of their travel to Cuba. Cuba Handling is the only company with 24/7 staff on the ground in Cuba; no other company can offer this. Cuba Handlling can also provide both your aircraft handling AND 100% leegal luxury itineraries in Cuba. Operating in Cuba since 1990, we have 27 years' experience - something no other company can offer. Cuba is a complex destination, unlike any other in the world, where personal relationships are the key to a successful visit. Cuba Handling's full-time team in Cuba has the personal relationships necessary to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and that your passengers have a seamless experience. The major trip planning companies lack experience and have no staff in Cuba.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A PERMIT TO FLY TO CUBA?
Cuba Handling interfaces on your behalf with the Cuban Civil Aviation Authority (IACC), who issues permits to land in Cuba. At present, aircraft operators are required to provide a copy of their Airworthiness Certificate, and Registration, Certificate of Insurance and the most recent maintenance logbook entry from your aircraft - complete with mechanic's signature. Certain jets will also need to provide a copy of the aircraft Noise Certificate. Note that these requirements are can change, and all permits are subject to the approval of the Cuban IACC. Documents that do not meet thier requirements could cause delays in the issuance of permits.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN A PERMIT TO FLY TO CUBA?
Permits to land in Cuba, and the associated aircraft handling (parking, fuel, etc.) usually require only 48 business hours. Permits can in some cases be obtained with less notice, but surcharges will apply. However, more importantly, please see below regarding the lead time required to organize in-country logistics such as transportation, lodging and itineraries.
IS TRAVEL TO CUBA NOW LEGAL? EVEN FOR TOURISM?
The US Treasury Department recently expanded the 12 categories of legal travel to Cuba. If the purpose of your travel to Cuba falls within one of these 12 categories, and if you organize your itinerary through an approved sponsor (such as Cuba Handling), then your travel to Cuba is legal. At this time, 'tourism' is not one of the 12 approved categories (this is a US regulation). However, most US travelers to Cuba engage our company to create itineraries that are 100% US Treasury compliant (conforming to one of the 12 categories), and our itineraries include all of the passengers' requests. Please call us for more details about creating a legal and compliant itinerary in Cuba.
CAN YOU ORGANIZE A LUXURY ITINERARY IN CUBA?
Cuba Handling has a travel planning team that is expert at creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Cuba. We have staff in the US and on the ground in Cuba, including an in-Cuba 24/7 on-call concierge team. We have over 27 years' experience operating in Cuba. No other US company can offer this level of expertise. Please contact our itinerary team to discuss a luxury, bespoke itinerary that cannot be matched. Longer lead time is required to organize in-Cuba itineraries. In some cases several weeks could be required; for more complicated itineraries it could take 1-3 months to confirm your itinerary.
DO WE NEED VISAS TO ENTER CUBA?
Everyone entering Cuba requires a Cuban entry visa. This does not apply to crew members that are simply dropping off or picking up passengers, if the crew does not leave the ramp. Cuba Handling is authorized to issue crew and passengers their Cuban entry visas. Under certain circumstances, a special visa may be required. These include, but are not limited to cases where: your trip to Cuba is for business meetings with the Cuban government, you are a journalist traveling to Cuba to work in the field of journalism, or if you were born in Cuba. Please call us for details.
CAN CUBA HANDLING ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION AND LUXURY HOTELS?
Cuba Handling has an in-Cuba itinerary team that can organize any level of transportation, private guides and lodging. Lodging options range from standard hotels to luxury 5-star world-class properties, and we also have an inventory of private luxury villas for rent. These may include features such as swimming pools, full-time staff, and other custom amenities upon request.
WHAT IS THE COST TO FLY TO CUBA?
Some of the fees are fixed, and some are variable. Variable fees include things such as the maximum takeoff weight of your plane, the number of passengers and the length of time you'll be in Cuba. Cuba Handling charges one fixed fee to organize your entire trip to Cuba. Once you pay Cuba Handling, a Florida-based company, all of your services in Cuba will be prepaid when you arrive. This means that substantially less cash will be required in Cuba. Discounts are available for AOPA and NBAA members. As an example only, for a light single-engine plane staing in Cuba for several days, the aircraft permit/handling fees could be in the range of $1,500-$2,500; for a light-twin, a typical range could be $2,000-$3,500. For a jet the typical range is $2,500-$3,500. NOTE: These are only examples, costs fluctuate in Cuba, and every trip will have a different cost depending on many variables. For a specific quote on your aircraft and for your trip, please request a quote by clicking HERE. By submitting this form, we can generate a quote specific to your aircraft and trip needs.
HOW MUCH CASH SHOULD WE BRING TO CUBA?
Everything organized by Cuba Handling will be prepaid (permits, aircraft handling, fuel, transportation, lodging, itineraties, etc.). The only cash required will typically be for out-of-pocket meals and spending money. We recommend you bring US dollars, and typically $500 per person, per day (this is meant to be more than you will need). Once in Cuba you can not access additional cash (ATM's are not an option), and credit cards are virtually impossible to use in Cuba's all-cash economy.
IS FUEL AVAILABLE IN CUBA?
Absolutely. Cuba Handling is your fuel provider in Cuba. Jet-A is available at every major airport. AvGas/100LL fuel is available only at MUHA (Havana) and MUVA (Varadero) airports. Fuel is prepurchased via Cuba Handling, and no payment is required when you arrive in Cuba. Note: Typical corporate fuel brands are not available, and fuel payment cards are NOT accepted in Cuba. All fuel in Cuba is inspected daily and meets all IATA and ICAO safety standards.
IS IT LEGAL FOR OUR AIRCRAFT AND OUR CREW/PASSENGERS TO FLY TO CUBA?
Under rules recently revised by former President Obama, it is now 100% possible for all US registered aircraft (whether Part 91 or 135) to fly to Cuba. You must depart from, and return to, a US airport where Customs is available. All of the normal notices to CBP (including e-APIS) are required. Unless you have a valid CBP Overflight Exemption, when returning from Cuba you must land first at the closest US Airport of Entry. If you have a valid CBP Overflight Exemption, you may fly from Cuba to any US airport where Customs is available and open.
IS IT SAFE FOR OUR AIRCRAFT TO REMAIN IN CUBA?
All aircraft in Cuba are guarded and monitoried by 24/7 security. Cuba offers one of the safest destinations for your aircraft and for your passengers to visit.
CAN OUR COMPANY DO BUSINESS IN CUBA?
Recent changes to US regulations may allow your company to investigate business opportunities and to do business in Cuba. Cuba Handling has a business consulting division which can help you explore these options. Please call us at 1-844-JET-CUBA for more information, or e-mail us by clicking here: Business Inquiry. We'll be happy to answer all of your questions.
I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS - WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?
Please call Cuba Handling at 1-844-JET-CUBA, or e-mail us by clicking here: Send Mail. We'll be happy to answer all of your questions.