Cubana PART 2 Revolutionary Times

The years after Castro’s takeover of Cuba were tumultuous for Cubana. Jozef Mols explains how the airline had to look further afield for aircraft and in later years meet growing demand from tourists wanting to visit the country.

One of four Ilyushin Il-96-300s that has served Cubana.
Avstock/Rutger Smulders

With the imposition of the US embargo on Cuba in 1962, Cubana turned to the Soviet Union to obtain new aircraft. The Bristol Britannias were kept in service, but the Viscounts and Super Viscounts were sold in 1961 and 1962, to be replaced by piston-prop Ilyushin Il-14s. These had the registrations CU-T321,’322, ’814, ’815, ’816, ’817, ’818, ’819, ’820, ’821, ’823, ’824, ’825, ’888 and ’925. Soon after, turboprop Il-18s were delivered followed by Antonov An-24, An-12 and An-26 turboprops. All of these aircraft were placed on Cubana’s domestic routes.

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