The only such aircraft in the world
The long-range wide-body passenger airliner Il-96-300 (CU-T1250) of the Cuban airline Cubana, restored at the Voronezh Aviation Plant, made its first flight with passengers on board since 2022. According to Tekhnosphere, on December 5, the plane took off with passengers from Zhukovsky Airport near Moscow. With an intermediate landing in Canada for refueling, the airliner reached Cuba. It is possible that this aircraft will begin to regularly transport passengers from Russia to Cuba.
Out of 12 Cubana aircraft, until recently only three were flying – ATR 42-500, ATR 72-200 and Tu-204-100, so the resumption of operations using the Il-96-300 is an important event for this airline. Cubana has two more passenger Il-96s, which also need to be restored to airworthiness. No other airline in the world carries passengers on these aircraft anymore.
Il-96-300 – This is a version of the Il-96 with a shortened fuselage. This aircraft was made due to insufficient thrust and low fuel efficiency of the first generation PS-90 engines. The newest Il-96-400M with PS-90A1 engines does not have this drawback.