Cuba studies the purchase of 20 Russian planes from the bankrupt Interjet

HAVANA, March 24 The Government of Cuba is interested in keeping 20 Russian Sukhoi planes belonging to the Mexican airline Interjet,

which is in the midst of a deep financial crisis, reports the local press.

Interjet’s debt to Sukhoi amounts to $ 380 million. Alejandro Del Valle, president of Interjet, confirmed that the Government of the Island has shown interest in keeping this equipment, “so the airline’s fleet will no longer be with those planes, but with those of Airbus.”

Interjet, one of the main airlines in the country and which maintained regular flights between Mexico and Cuba before the pandemic will enter bankruptcy next week to raise investment funds and try to save itself from bankruptcy, Forbes published.

The Cuban air fleet, in crisis for decades, is closely linked to Russia since the US embargo makes it difficult for it to sign contracts with international companies.

For about eight years, the Government has bought second-hand Russian aircraft with the intention of increasing services For about eight years, the government has bought second-hand Russian aircraft intention of increasing services.

In 2013, it acquired six Russian-made AN-158s, with a capacity for 97 passengers, which were destined for national transport. In 2017, some Soviet-era Antonov AN-2s that, according to the official press, were to be used in tourism, cargo transport, pest control, and fire fighting.

Also last year it was learned that other old aircraft of the same model was assembled in Havana to be operated in those same activities. Cubana de Aviación, the island’s main airline, had 17 aircraft in 2019, including six Antonov An-158, four Ilyushin Il-96-300, four Tupolev 204, two ATR 72-500 and one ATR 42-500.

Given the small fleet it owns, the Cuban company leases several planes to foreign companies. One of them was the Boeing 737-200 leased to the Mexican company Global Air for flight DMJ-972 that crashed near the José Martí International Airport in Havana in May 2018.