Cubana pre-orders three Antonov planes
Russia's Ilyushin Finance Co. signed a letter of intent to finance
Cuba's purchase of three Antonov An-158 passenger aircraft at an
undisclosed price, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
The pre-contract also includes an option for the purchase of three
additional An-158s, according to Spanish news agency efe. A final
contract is expected to be signed before the end of the year, delivery
is expected for next year.
The AN-158 regional jet, to be used by Cubana de Aviación, was developed
by Ukraine's Antonov ASTC and is jointly manufactured by Ukraine's
Aviant and Russia's Voronezh Aircraft Production Association. Presented
in 2010, it can carry 99 passengers up to 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles).
According to the Ilyushin Finance Website, Cuba also ordered four
slightly smaller An-148 regional jets, for delivery in 2013. The An-158
is a stretched version of the An-148. According to Flight Daily News,
the An-148 faced "severe criticism" from Russian flag carrier Rossiya
after its launch last year over unreliability and slow response from the
manufacturer. Ilyushin Finance says the problems have since been resolved.
In 2005-08, Cubana renewed its aging fleet with three Russian-made IL-96
and two TU-204 long-range jets. These purchases were also financed by