by Katherine Chiglinsky
March 13, 2015
(Bloomberg) — Cuba, so tempting with its rum drinks and beaches, so long off-limits for Americans, is about to become a little more accessible to New York area travelers.
Starting next week, tour operator Cuba Travel Services will begin offering what it says is the first regularly scheduled direct charter service from New York to Havana since President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with the island nation in December.
With one weekly flight, Cuba Travel Services is trying to tap the New York area’s large Cuban-American population. It’s a market that has lured other charter operators in the past only to see them pull out amid periodic chills in the relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean country. The U.S. has had an embargo on Cuba for more than 50 years.
“There’s a lot more activity, or at least interest, to do business with Cuba,” said Peter Quinter, chairman of the customs and international trade law group at legal firm GrayRobinson in Miami.