Russian manufacturer to restore Il-96 to airworthiness for Cuban carrier

The Il-96 and its three siblings were delivered to Cubana via Ilyushin Finance Co VASO has previously conducted maintenance work on Cubana’s another Ilyushin airliner (VASO)

Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) is negotiating with Cuba’s national carrier Cubana de Aviacion to restore one of the latter’s Ilyushin Il-96-300 widebody passenger airliners to airworthiness. The aircraft in question, factory number 0017, is currently unserviceable. On signing the contract, the airframe will be ferried to VASO’s Voronezh-based facility, the OEM says in a statement.

Cubana is the last remaining Il-96 commercial operator in the world. In Russia, the type is operated solely by governmental agencies.

Another Cubana Il-96 (factory number 0015, registration code CU-T1250) has been undergoing maintenance at VASO since January this year. A functional check flight was performed on September 25; the next flight is scheduled for the end of the month.

VASO provides aftersales support for the Cuban aircraft through IFC Technik, a joint venture with the Russian lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) which delivered all of Cubana’s four Il-96-300s.

In May and June this year, VASO’s final assembly and flight test specialists replaced the nose landing gear on another Cubana Il-96 (factory number 0016). The operation was performed at the carrier’s base.

The parties are now in talks over maintenance work on yet another Il-96. Also being discussed is the possibility of MRO cooperation on the Cuban airline’s six Ukrainian-built Antonov An-158s, which were similarly delivered via IFC. As previously reported, in April 2017 Cubana reach an agreement with Antonov on post-warranty servicing of these aircraft in accordance with the full fleet support principle.

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