The small, privately owned Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based carrier made the announcement on Dec. 19, suggesting it may need outside help so it can aggressively pursue new routes in Cuba and elsewhere.

Silver said it plans to fly scheduled service to Cuba as soon as 2016, saying it will apply to “serve most, if not all,” of the 10 approved Cuban destinations, including Havana. It did not say from where it would fly, but it has hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa.

It could be some time before carriers will be able to restart commercial service, and with most larger airlines wanting to serve Cuba, especially Havana, competition for key routes could be intense.

Under the terms of an agreement reached on Dec. 16, it is thought that 20 flights per day will be allowed between the US and Havana for both passenger and cargo service, and a further 10 flights will be allowed between the US and other Cuban cities.

Silver—with a fleet of 27 Saab 340B Plus turboprops—said it is also considering adding capacity elsewhere, though it plans to remain focused on Florida and warm-weather islands just south of the US.

Silver’s only current international destination is the Bahamas, with seven destinations on the islands. However, if it succeeds in raising new funds or reshaping the company, the airline might be able to grow further into the Caribbean.

The goal in hiring Raymond James is to, “enhance Silver’s ability to capitalize on these attractive growth opportunities,” the company said in a release. “The board is now considering several opportunities that will accelerate growth and geographic expansion, including the opening of the Cuban market.”

(Brian Sumers - ATWOnline News)