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Cuba Charter Company To Close In Wake Of Commercial Flights

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The first commercial flights from Tampa to Havana in more than 50 years will begin in late October at the earliest, but they're already muscling out at least one local charter company.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Cuba Travel Services will cease operations from Tampa, and the future of the two other local charter companies - Island Travel & Tours and ABC Charters - remains unclear.

Island Travel & Tours couldn't be reached for comment. Tessie Aral, president of ABC Charters, said she has no plans to leave the Tampa market but acknowledges that her company's future is up in the air after Oct. 31.

The reason: The Cuban government grants landing rights to charters in six-month increments and issues authorization three months in advance.

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