HAVANA Aug 6 Russia has delivered the first of
three Tupolev medium-haul jet planes to Cuba, expanding one of
its main export markets for commercial aircraft, the Cuban
Communist Party newspaper Granma reported on Monday.
The cargo version of the TU-204 arrived in Havana on Sunday
and two passenger jets will be delivered before the end of the
year as Cuba upgrades its aging Soviet-era fleet, the paper
Last year, Cuba received three Ilyushin IL-96-300s
long-haul passenger jets used on routes to Europe and Latin
America by Cuban carrier Cubana de Aviacion.
A Russian diplomat said the sales to Cuba are one of the
most important export contracts for Russia's commercial
aircraft industry since the collapse of the Soviet Union in
The deal was financed by Ilyushin Finance Co.
Cuba last year agreed to buy $100 million a year in
civilian aircraft from Russia over the next seven years,
including short-haul regional Antonov AN-148 planes.
Under U.S. sanctions dating from shortly after Fidel
Castro's 1959 revolution, Cuba's communist government is barred
from purchasing Boeing (BA.N) aircraft. It is also barred from
buying European Airbus EAD.PA planes because more than 10
percent of their components are U.S. made.