Cuba Takes Interest in Antonov Planes
OREANDA-NEWS. On October 10, 2007, ANTONOV ASTC was visited by participants of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Cuban Commission for commercial and economic as well as scientific and technical cooperation, the press office of the company disclosed. The visit demonstrated increased interest and aspiration of both parties for cooperation in the sphere of aviation. Today Cuba operates about 40 multipurpose AN-2 biplanes, 10 transport AN-26s and 2 regional passenger AN-24s. Deliveries of the aircraft to Cuba were started 35 years ago. Specialists of ANTONOV ASTC are in touch with their operators, providing engineering services, in particular, on extension of service-lives of these airplanes. However, because of the necessity to renew the existing fleet of the airplanes, the Cuban airlines expressed an interest in modern and promosing ANTONOV programmes. To remind, on August 22, 2007, during MAKS-2007 International air show "Aviaimport S.A" of Cuba and Iliushin Finance leasing company concluded a memorandum of understanding in which Cuban party expressed its intention to increase the fleet of "Cubana de Aviacion" with 3 AN-148 regional jet airplanes during 2008-2011. "The Airlines of Cuba" has also expressed its intention to purchase AN-38 light multipurpose airplanes for operation on tourist routes.
During the visit to ASTC the members of the Intergovernmental Commission had been familiarized with the capacities of different versions of AN-148, AN-38, AN-140 regional turboprop airplane, AN-3 light biplane and AN-74 multipurpose turbojet airplane. Representatives of the Cuban party expressed their interest in leasing AN-140 airplanes with a possibility to start their operation at the beginning of 2008.