Thu | Apr 26, 2018

Cuba cancels charter firms flights

Published:Monday | November 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Cuban government has suspended, effective tomorrow, operating permits for charter flights to the island with two of what is considered to be the more important and recognized agencies of this type in South Florida.

Havanatur Celimar, the Cuban state agency that administers and regulates the operations, said the Miami-based Airline Brokers and C&T Charters will be affected.

Vivian Mannerud, owner of Airline Brokers, said the suspension was the result of a re-evaluation of flights in the market, as well as other topics.

At this time, Airline Brokers is trying to ascertain whether other providers of charter flights to Cuba can accommodate all the passengers affected by this cancellation, he said in a statement to customers.

Airline Brokers will contact you or the travel agency where you bought your ticket. If you cannot be accommodated on another flight, your ticket will be refunded at the same agency where you paid for it, he added.

Mannerud said Airline Brokers is making all possible arrangements in the quickest possible time to help accommodate all the passengers.

Airline Brokers has a long history of chartered flights to the island. Just a few days ago, it coordinated the shipping of humanitarian aid sent to people affected by Hurricane Sandy in eastern Cuba.

It said it also worked with the Archdiocese of Miami and the Cuban Catholic Church in the transportation of hundreds of parishioners during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI on March 26-28, which included the celebration of Masses in Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

Airline Brokers said it operates seven flights a week from the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports to the cities of Havana and Cienfuegos. It is one of eight companies that organize charter flights to Cuba.

C&T Charters operates charter flights to Havana and Camaguey from air terminals in Miami, Chicago and New York.

Its owner, John H. Cabañas, reportedly has close contact with the Cuban government. The agency has provided its services uninterruptedly since June 1991. It has offices in Miami, the Keys in Florida and New York.

Airline Brokers and C&T Charters are the only US companies that organize travel for special pilgrimages.