THE RULES CHANGED RECENTLY. CAN I STILL FLY TO CUBA?
YES! Effective November 9, 2017, new rules are in effect. The new rules require that you work with an authorized U.S. organization that sponsors legal travel to Cuba. That organization must provide your itinerary for your activities in Cuba. Purely tourist activity is not allowed. Your trip will need to be conducted under one of 12 categories for legal travel to Cuba. Cuba Handling can facilitate every aspect of a safe, legal and amazing trip to Cuba.
WE NORMALLY USE ANOTHER COMPANY FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL TRIPS. WHY IS CUBA HANDLING DIFFERENT?
The leadership of AOPA, NBAA, GAMA and many other organizations have all selected Cuba Handling to manage 100% of their travel to Cuba. Cuba Handling is the only U.S. company with 24/7 staff on the ground in Cuba. Cuba Handlling can provide all aircraft handling AND 100% leegal luxury itineraries in Cuba. Operating in Cuba since 1990, we have 27 years' experience - something no other company can claim. 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, Registration, Certificate of Insurance and the most recent maintenance logbook entry from your aircraft. Certain jets will also need to provide a copy of the aircraft Noise Certificate. Note that these requirements are subject to changes, and all permit issuances are subject to the approval of the Cuban IACC. Documents submitted that do not meet Cuban 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 U.S. Department of the Treasury recently revised 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 U.S. regulation). However, most U.S. travelers to Cuba engage our company to create itineraries that are 100% U.S. 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 expert staff in the US in Cuba, including an in-Cuba 24/7 on-call concierge team. We have over 27 years' experience operating in Cuba. No other U.S. 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 airport. Cuba Handling is authorized to issue crew and passengers their Cuban entry visas. Under certain circumstances, a special visa may be required. These circumstances 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 are based on factors 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 a single fixed fee to organize your entire trip to Cuba. Once you pay Cuba Handling, a U.S. 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 current U.S. regulations, it is 100% legal for all US registered aircraft (whether operating under 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 to the U.S. from Cuba you must land first at the closest U.S. Airport of Entry. If you have a valid CBP Overflight Exemption, you may fly from Cuba to any U.S. 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 U.S. 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.