Cuba replaces Soviet-era aircraft

Cuba plans to buy five more Russian passenger jets after receiving two long-haul Ilyushin Il-96s to replace aging Soviet-era aircraft, a Russian diplomat told Reuters news agency. The new order by flag carrier Cubana de Aviacion is foranother two wide-bodied Il-96-300s and three medium-range Tupolev Tu-204s, one of them fitted for air freight, the diplomat said.

The new sales contracts will be finalized in April and financed by Russia’s Ilyushin Finans Co., he said.

Three weeks ago, Cuba received a second Il-96-300 furnished with a VIP cabin for use by President Fidel Castro that can be reconfigured for commercial flights, he said.