Cubana (CU, Havana Int'l) is in talks with the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO), one of the largest aircraft production plants in Russia, over the proposed to return to service of the carrier's fleet of four Il-96-300s of which only one is currently operational.

According to a VASO statement summarizing the state of the Cuban carrier's Ilyushin Design Bureau fleet, CU-T1250 (msn 74393202015), which has been in Russia since the beginning of the year, recently completed a series of test flights as part of scheduled maintenance work. If all is signed off, the aircraft will be returned to the Cuban operator.

Concerning the only aircraft that is currently active, CU-T1251 (msn 74393202016), VASO said its engineering teams had replaced the aircraft's nose landing gear during a visit in May/June of this year following which the quadjet was returned to service. Cubana currently uses the aircraft on flights from Cuba to each of Madrid Barajas and Paris Orly in Europe and Buenos Aires Ezeiza in Argentina.

Concerning CU-T1254 (msn 74393202017), which is stored, VASO said its technical condition has been assessed as unserviceable. As such, it has engaged the Cubans over the possibility of returning the aircraft to airworthiness. This will, however, involve it being ferried to Russia for extensive maintenance work.

Talks are also ongoing over VASO's direct technical support of the airline's fleet of An-158s as well as Cubana's fourth Il-96-300, CU-T1717 (msn 74393201005), which is also in storage.

Earlier this year, Antonov Design Bureau (ADB, Gostomel) announced it had resumed full-fleet support to Cubana thereby allowing for the return of the carrier's fleet of six An-158s to full operational serviceability. Thus far, three have been returned to service with work going on with the remaining three.