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Charter flights brace for change as scheduled service to Cuba nears

Peter A. Quinter

Peter Quinter
GrayRobinson, P.A.

Some experts believe regularly scheduled air service to Cuba — a far cry from the charter- only operations of the recent past — could start by early next year.

For years, Vivian Mannerud has had an unusual message for young employees interested in working for her Cuba travel company, Airline Brokers Co.

“I say go back to college. There is no future in this business,” said Mannerud, CEO of the Hialeah-based agency. “Don’t think of this as a career because this could end tomorrow.”

At the moment, Mannerud’s business — arranging trips to Cuba for VIP travelers and booking traditional passengers on flights with charter flight operators — is bustling following since President Barack Obama announced a plan to normalize diplomatic relations and ease travel restrictions in December.

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