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 all permits to land in Cuba. They are currently updating the documents and requirements necessary to obtain a permit. At present, aircraft operators are asked to present a copy of their Airworthiness Certificate, and Registration, Certificate of Insurance. New requirements also include a copy of a Noise Certificate for certain jets, and the latest maintenance logbook entries from your aircraft - complete with mechanic's signature. Note that these requirements are in transition and all approvals are subject to the approval of the Cuban IACC. Documents that do not meet thier needs 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 handling (parking, fuel, etc.) usually require only 48 business hours. Permits can be obtained with less notice, but surcharges may apply. However, 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, then your travel to Cuba is legal. At this time, simple 'tourism' is not one of the 12 approved categories (this is a US regulation). However, many US travelers to Cuba engage our company to create itineraries that are US Treasury compliant (conforming to one of the 12 categories), and the itinerary includes all of the passengers' requests. Please call us for more details about creating a legal and compliant itinerary in Cuba.
CAN YOU ORGANIZE A HIGH-END ITINERARY IN CUBA?
Cuba Handling has a travel planning division 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 27 years' experience operating in Cuba. No other US company can claim this level of expertise. Please contact our travel team to discuss a luxury, bespoke itinerary that cannot be matched by any other company. Longer lead time is required to organize in-Cuba logistics. In some cases several weeks are 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 team that can organize any level of transportation, private guides and lodging. Lodging options range from standard hotels to luxury boutique properties, and we also have an inventory of private 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, such as the maximum takeoff weight of your plane, the number of passengers and the length of time you'll be in Cuba. Our company charges one fixed fee to organize your entire trip to Cuba. You pay Cuba Handling, a Florida-based company, and all of your services will be prepaid when you arrive in Cuba. This means that little 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.
IS FUEL AVAILABLE IN CUBA?
Absolutely. Cuba Handling is your fuel provider in Cuba. Jet-A is available at every 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 fuel brands are not available, and fuel cards are not accepted in Cuba. All fuel in Cuba is inspected daily and meets IATA safety standards.
WE NORMALLY USE ANOTHER COMPANY FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL HANDLING. WHY IS CUBA HANDLING DIFFERENT?
Cuba Handling has staff on the ground in Cuba; no other company can say this. We also have 27 years' experience in Cuba. Simply put, Cuba is a destination where personal relationships are key. Cuba Handling has the personal relationships necessary to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and that your passengers have a seamless experience. The typical international trip planning companies do not have experience in Cuba and do not maintain full-time staff in Cuba.
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, any US Airport of Entry with US Customs 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 at the closest US Airport of Entry. If you have a valid CBP Overflight Exemption, you can fly from Cuba to any US Airport of Entry where Customs is available and open.
IS IT SAFE FOR OUR AIRCRAFT TO REMAIN IN CUBA?
All aircraft in Cuba are monitoried by 24/7 security, including armed guards. It is our opinion that supplemental security is not required.
CAN OUR COMPANY DO BUSINESS IN CUBA?
Recent changes to US regulations now 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.
HOW MUCH CASH SHOULD WE BRING TO CUBA?
Everything organized by Cuba Handling can be prepaid (permits, aircraft handling, fuel, transportation, lodging, itineraties, etc.). The only cash required will be for out-of-pocket meals and spending money. We recommend you bring US Dollars, and typically $500 per person, per day. 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.
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.