Cuba Signs Deal to Buy 5 Russian Aircraft
Created: 11.04.2006 11:25 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:25 MSK, 3 hours 39
Cuba will buy five Russian aircraft for use in the island’s growing
programs to provide social and health services to impoverished people
around the region, The Associated Press reported, citing official media.
The official Prensa Latina news agency on Monday carried several
photographs of President Fidel Castro meeting with Russian officials,
including Boris Alyoshin, head of the Federal Industry Agency, when the
agreement was announced in Havana.
The purchase agreement was signed by representatives of Cuba’s Civil
Aeronautics Institution and the aircraft manufacturer Ilyushin Finance Co.
Prensa Latina did not say how much the two IL 96-300 and three TU
204-100 passenger jets would cost, reporting only that the Russian
aviation firm would provide Cuba with financing.
The IL 96-300 is a long-haul, wide body passenger airplane, which can
carry up to 289 passengers to a distance of up to 13,500 kilometers
(8,400 miles), according to an Ilyushin Finance Co. web site. The TU
204-100 is a mid-range aircraft for 210 passengers. One of the three
planes will be used for cargo, Prensa Latina said.
The news agency said the five aircraft will join two other IL 96-300
passenger jets recently purchased for “solidarity” missions such as
“Operacion Milagro” (“Operation Miracle”). This Cuban-Venezuelan program
provides free eye operations to needy people from around Latin America.