Charter flights from Tampa International Airport have flown hundreds of thousands of people to Cuba in just four years. But next year, thousands more could be headed to Cuba as the United States and Cuba iron out a deal to allow more than 100 regular commercial flights to and from the island and the U.S. mainland.
The Federal Aviation Administration will accept queries from airlines interested in offering commercial service to Havana and other destinations in Cuba. Havana Air announced recently that passengers could book flights to Cuba on its website starting in January. Silver Airways, a discount airline based in Fort Lauderdale, also announced its intent to offer flights to Cuba in 2016.
While no major carriers — like American or JetBlue — have said publicly that they’ll try to offer flights to Cuba, it would make sense to do so from Tampa International Airport, said Ken Qualls, CEO of Flight Management Solutions in Boca Raton, an aviation consulting firm.