CORAL GABLES — Authorities say a fire was deliberately set at a Florida company that arranges charter flights to Cuba.
Investigators with the Coral Gables Fire Department say the fire was sparked after a chunk of pavement was used to break open a window at the Airline Brokers Co. and an incendiary device was tossed inside.
A report obtained by El Nuevo Herald says investigators found a disposable lighter in a doorway and a shattered green bottle.
No possible suspects have been named.
Charter flights to Cuba have been a controversial issue in the exile community. Some groups have criticized and at times even violently attacked companies that charter flights to the island.
The owner of Airline Brokers told the newspaper she hadn’t received any recent threats.
Airline boom raises new safety questions
JAKARTA — Aviation experts say dozens of fledgling airlines that have sprung up to serve Indonesia’s island-hopping new middle class could jeopardize the archipelago’s recently improved safety reputation.
The trend threatens to erode higher standards established after 2007, when frequent crashes prompted the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from landing on its runways for two years.
With growth rates of nearly 20 percent per year, Indonesia is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but the country is struggling to provide qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and updated airport technology to ensure safety. And with so many new, small carriers, it’s hard to monitor all their standards.
Just how fast Indonesia’s airline market is growing came under a spotlight with Wednesday’s deadly crash of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 plane during a demonstration flight.
“We are not ready for this boom,” said Ruth Simatupang, an Indonesian aviation consultant and former safety investigator.
Indonesia’s two largest airlines - national carrier Garuda and rapidly expanding boutique airline Lion Air - haven’t had a fatal accident in five years and eight years, respectively. But small passenger and cargo carriers plus military aircraft have kept the frequency of crashes to about once every two months, according to statistics compiled by the Aviation Safety Network.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports