Cuban Airline Gets Russian Plane

The main Cuban airline has taken delivery of an Antonov-158 passenger jet, a Russian leasing company said Thursday.

It's the second of three Antonov-158 planes, which seat 97 people, that Cubana de Aviacion ordered from the state-controlled company, Ilyushin Finance said.

The plane has a list price of $25 million to $30 million, depending on furnishing. Ukrainian aircraft maker Antonov sources about 60 percent of its parts in Russia.

Some components come from France, Germany and the U.S. in a way that does not violate U.S. sanctions against Cuba, the Aviation Explorer industry website reported.

Antonov performs the final assembly of the machines from knockdown kits manufactured at a Russian plant in Voronezh.

The first Antonov-158 arrived in Cuba in April, while the third will enter into service later this year. Panama's South American Aircraft Leasing company is an intermediary in the plane deal.

Cubana wants to use the jets on its domestic flights and to ferry people to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Ilyushin Finance earlier supplied seven other aircraft to Cuba: four medium-range Russian-made Tupolev-204 planes and three long-range Ilyushin-96-300 planes.

The latest and previous deals took place with the support of the government, whose VEB bank lends money for buyers of Russian hi-tech products as part of a state program to boost their exports.

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