Fidel Castro probably never imagined a day when Americans would book flights to Cuba on their smartphones.
But, in a mind-bending example of just how quickly times have changed, that day has arrived. It's being ushered in via an Uber-style, on-demand flight app created by Victor, a private jet hire company.
In the wake of restored diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, few have been quicker than private jet chartering companies to make the most of the cordial, post-Cold War relationship.
Victor, for instance, was among the first private jet chartering companies to offer U.S. travelers direct flights to Havana from 19 U.S. cities. And more recently, the company began witnessing its customers booking flights to the island nation via the Victor app.
"The fact that you can book a trip to Cuba on a smartphone through the Victor app is really as contemporary as it gets," says David Young, senior vice president of North America for Victor. "It's a moment in history that will never come again. It's an exciting period. Visiting Cuba is going to be as commonplace as going to Mexico in the coming years."
While Cuba becoming the next Mexico remains a little hard to imagine, these are groundbreaking and fascinating times, particularly when it comes to the island nation's engagement with the world at large.
In just a few weeks, Cuba will host the first visit from a sitting U.S. president in 88 years, when Barack Obama descends on the tiny country for two days.
Shortly after Obama's visit, the Rolling Stones will hold a free concert in Havana at Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana, the first open air concert in the country by a British rock band.
One can only imagine what Fidel Castro, a dictator famous for jailing people for any actions that might be interpreted as dissent or criticism, must think of all the changes.
In perhaps the most notable recent development for average citizens, the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to re-establish scheduled air services between the two countries. The agreement creates the potential for as many as 110 daily, round-trip flights in and out of Cuba.
Not long after the agreement was inked, United Airlines submitted its formal application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide service to Havana from such gateway cities as Newark/New York, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The airline's proposed service would include 11 round-trip flights each week, including daily flights from Newark Liberty.
American Airlines, meanwhile, is seeking to operate its own scheduled services, including ten daily flights to Havana from Miami. The airline is also hoping to offer additional service to Havana from hubs in Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Chicago.