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Cubana de Aviación

Cubana de Aviación

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Cubana de Aviación S.A., commonly known as Cubana, is Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

's largest airline and flag carrier
Flag carrier
A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given country, enjoys preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations. It may be a state-run, state-owned or private but...

. The airline was founded on 8 October 1929, and has its corporate headquarters in Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

. Its main base is at José Martí International Airport
José Martí International Airport
José Martí International Airport , sometimes known by its former name Rancho-Boyeros Airport, is located southwest of Havana, Cuba, and is a hub for Cubana de Aviación, Aerogaviota and Aero Caribbean, and former Latin American hub for Aeroflot Soviet Airlines...

. It was a founder and is a current member of the International Air Transport Association
International Air Transport Association
The International Air Transport Association is an international industry trade group of airlines headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the International Civil Aviation Organization is also headquartered. The executive offices are at the Geneva Airport in SwitzerlandIATA's mission is to...

 (IATA), the International Association of Aeronautical Telecommunications
SITA
SITA is a multinational information technology company specialising in providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry...

 (SITA) and the International Association of Latin American Air Transportation (AITAL).

Originally a subsidiary of Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 (PANAM) and later a private company owned by Cuban investors, Cubana has been wholly owned by the Cuban government since May 1959 and celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2009. The airline has 32 international representatives and 13 offices in Cuba, and its current official name is Cubana de Aviación S.A. It was the first airline of The Americas to operate Russian aircraft.

History





Cubana was established on 8 October 1929 as Compañía Nacional Cubana de Aviación Curtiss, indicating its association with the Curtiss Robin
Curtiss Robin
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography*Bowers, Peter M. Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.-External links:* * ****...

 aircraft manufacturing company. It was one of the earliest airlines to emerge in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. Pan American Airways (then known as Pan American Airways System or PAA) acquired Cubana in 1932, and the word Curtiss was deleted from the airline's name. Cubana therefore became a subsidiary of Pan American Airways. In 1944, the first International Conference on Civil Aviation was convened, which later would lead to the creation of the International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 (ICAO, currently based in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

). Cuba was a participant in this conference and a founding member of ICAO. In April 1945, the conference that created the International Air Transport Association
International Air Transport Association
The International Air Transport Association is an international industry trade group of airlines headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where the International Civil Aviation Organization is also headquartered. The executive offices are at the Geneva Airport in SwitzerlandIATA's mission is to...

 (IATA) was held in Havana. Cubana became a founding member of IATA, and participated in the creation of that organization through its involvement with the Havana conference and the resulting accords. Both conferences and the organizations they spawned helped establish Cubana as an internationally recognized airline company.

In May 1945 Cubana started its first scheduled international flights to Miami, using Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made...

 aircraft. Cubana was the first Latin American airline to establish scheduled services to Miami. In April 1948, a transatlantic route was started between Havana and Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 (via Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

 and Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

) using Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-4
The Douglas DC-4 is a four-engined propeller-driven airliner developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. It served during World War II, in the Berlin Airlift and into the 1960s in a military role...

 aircraft. The Madrid route was extended to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 1950. The new route to Europe made Cubana one of the earliest Latin American carriers to establish scheduled transatlantic service.

In May 1959, the revolutionary government decided to take over Cubana, expropriating all the airline's private investors without compensation. The private passenger airline Aerovías Q and private cargo carriers Cuba Aeropostal and Expreso Aéreo Interamericano, were then merged into Cubana. Despite these problems, in 1961 Cubana expanded its scheduled transatlantic services to Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 (apart from its existing Madrid route) using its Bristol Britannia
Bristol Britannia
The Bristol Type 175 Britannia was a British medium-to-long-range airliner built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1952 to fly across the British Empire...

 jet-props. Cubana then ceded one of its Britannias to Czechoslovak Airlines
Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines j.s.c. , trading as Czech Airlines , is the national airline of the Czech Republic and temporary in Slovakia with its head office on the grounds of Ruzyně Airport in Ruzyně, Prague...

 (CSA) so that it could start its own Prague-Havana flights, in cooperation with Cubana's services on that route. Cubana's crews trained CSA personnel in the operation of the Britannias. This allowed CSA to establish its first-ever scheduled transatlantic service in 1962.

With the U.S. breaking relations (in 1961) and the imposition of the U.S. embargo
United States embargo against Cuba
The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960...

 on Cuba (in 1962), Cubana turned to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 to obtain new aircraft. Cubana's cooperation made it possible for Aeroflot
Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 to establish 18-hour non-stop scheduled services between Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and Havana in 1963 which were the longest non-stop flights in the world at that time. Cooperation with the East German airline Interflug
Interflug
Interflug was the state airline of East Germany from 1963 to 1991, when it ceased operations following German reunification...

 made it possible for this carrier to establish its first scheduled transatlantic services, linking East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

 with Havana.

In the late 1970s, Cuba began operating its own long distance passenger jet services using the Ilyushin Il-62 (first flight in 1963, range of 10,300 km). The Il-62 had been the first plane to be put into long distance jet service by a number of other countries. Cubana operated 28 examples of this airliner between 1979 and 2011, including 11 early version Il-62s and 17 later model Il-62Ms, of which it owned 19 outright, the remaining nine leased either from Aeroflot
Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 or the Romanian national airline Tarom
Tarom
S.C. Compania Națională de Transporturi Aeriene Române TAROM S.A., doing business as TAROM Romanian Air Transport, is the flag carrier and oldest currently operating airline of Romania. The brand name is an acronym for...

. After the 1990s, spare parts for Cubana's Soviet era aircraft became increasingly harder to source. Limited financial resources and lack of Western financing to replace these aircraft coupled with restrictions imposed by the U.S. embargo on the sale of American-built aircraft and components (engines and avionics) made it necessary to keep the Il-62Ms and other Soviet era planes in service despite their age. In the early 2000s Cubana refurbished some of its old Il-62/Il-62Ms to use on international routes (the last two were retired in March 2011) and in 2004, it embarked upon a long-term renovation. The strategy is based on the purchase of $100 million a year in new generation Russian-built aircraft until 2012. By 2012 Cubana will completely replace its old Soviet era aircraft with new generation Russian airliners. As part of its renovation strategy, Cubana has sought to upgrade its technical support capabilities. The airline established a joint venture company with Iberia Airlines
Iberia Airlines
Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A., commonly known as Iberia, is the flag carrier airline of Spain. Based in Madrid, it operates an international network of services from its main bases of Madrid-Barajas Airport and Barcelona El Prat Airport....

 of Spain in 2005, to maintain and overhaul Western-built aircraft, including all Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 and Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 models. Between 2000 and 2009 Cubana operated services to Iraq but these have since been cancelled. Cubana used to operate services to Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 which was the Latin American airlines to fly normally to Asia. Later, Aeroméxico
Aeroméxico
Airways of Mexico, SA de CV , operating as Aeroméxico, is the flag carrier airline of Mexico based in Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. It operates scheduled domestic and international services to North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia...

 started services to Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport
is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

 in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 from Tijuana and Mexico City.
In December 2005, Cubana received its first Ilyushin Il-96-300
Ilyushin Il-96
The Ilyushin Il-96 is a four-engined long-haul widebody airliner designed by Ilyushin in the Soviet Union and manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association in Voronezh, Russia...

, registered CU-T1250. The aircraft made its first official flight in January 2006, covering the Havana - Buenos Aires route. The second Il-96 was received in March 2006 and a confirmation was signed for two additional ones, an Il-96 of the last two orders was received in 2007 and the remaining one is yet to be delivered. Three Tupolev Tu-204
Tupolev Tu-204
The Tupolev Tu-204 is a twin-engined medium-range jet airliner capable of carrying 210 passengers, designed by Tupolev and produced by Aviastar SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association. First introduced in 1989, it is considered to be broadly equivalent to the Boeing 757 and has competitive...

 were also ordered in 2006, two passenger version and one cargo version for Cubana Cargo. The Tupolev Tu-204 cargo-version was delivered in August 2007. During the August 2007 MAKS Airshow
MAKS Airshow
MAKS is an International Air Show held near Moscow, Russia on Zhukovskiy LII air field. The first show, Mosaeroshow-92, was held in 1992. Since 1993, it was renamed to its current name and is held on odd years .MAKS is an important event in Russian business...

 Cubana signed a $150 million contract for the purchase and confirmation of 2 Tupolev Tu-204
Tupolev Tu-204
The Tupolev Tu-204 is a twin-engined medium-range jet airliner capable of carrying 210 passengers, designed by Tupolev and produced by Aviastar SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association. First introduced in 1989, it is considered to be broadly equivalent to the Boeing 757 and has competitive...

 and 3 Antonov An-148
Antonov An-148
The Antonov An-148 Antonov Design Bureau from Kiev, Ukraine, is a regional jet aircraft designed by the Ukrainian Antonov Design Bureau and produced by Ukraine's Kiev Aviation Plant AVIANT and Russia's Voronezh Aircraft Production Association. Development of the plane was started in the 1990s,...

 aircraft, to be delivered between 2008 and 2011 and becoming one of the Antonov An-148 launch customers. More orders for new aircraft will be made over the next 7 years until the conclusion of the Russian-Cuban aviation agreements signed in 2006.

Destinations


Cubana operates flights to over 30 destinations in Cuba, Europe, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America.

Codeshare agreements


At July 2011, Cubana has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
  • AeroCaribbean (domestic, Caribbean and Central American destinations)
  • Aeroflot
    Aeroflot
    OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

     (Moscow - Havana)
  • Air Europa (Madrid - Havana)
  • Blue Panorama Airlines
    Blue Panorama Airlines
    Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A. is an airline based in Fiumicino, Italy. It is a private airline operating scheduled and charter flights from Italy to various international destinations...

     (Rome - Havana)
  • Conviasa
    Conviasa
    Conviasa is an airline with its headquarters on the grounds of Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, Venezuela, near Caracas. It operates services to domestic destinations and to destinations in the Caribbean and South America...

     (Caracas - Havana)
  • Copa Airlines
    Copa Airlines
    Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A., operating as Copa Airlines ', is an airline based in Panama City, Panama, and serves as Panama's flag carrier...

     (Panama City - Havana)
  • Lacsa
    Lacsa
    Lacsa , is the national airline of Costa Rica and is based in San José. It operates international scheduled services to over 35 destinations in Central, North and South America. All international services are now operated by Grupo TACA...

     - Grupo TACA
    Grupo TACA
    TACA is the trade name "brand" comprising a group of five independently IATA-coded and -owned Central American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one and a number of other independently owned and IATA-coded regional airlines which code-share and feed the TACA brand system...

     (San Jose, Costa Rica - Havana)

Fleet


The Cubana fleet includes the following aircraft (as of 14 December 2009):

Cubana de Aviación Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Boeing 737-400
Boeing 737 Classic
The Boeing 737 Classic is the name given to the -300/-400/-500 series of the Boeing 737 following the introduction of the -600/-700/-800/-900 series. They are short- to medium- range, narrow-body jet airliners produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Classic series was introduced as the 'new...

2 158 158 leased from Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines is a charter airline based in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It operates passenger and cargo services within Canada and the USA. Its main base is Kelowna International Airport...

Antonov An-148
Antonov An-148
The Antonov An-148 Antonov Design Bureau from Kiev, Ukraine, is a regional jet aircraft designed by the Ukrainian Antonov Design Bureau and produced by Ukraine's Kiev Aviation Plant AVIANT and Russia's Voronezh Aircraft Production Association. Development of the plane was started in the 1990s,...

3 N/a
Antonov An-24RV
Antonov An-24
The Antonov An-24 is a 44-seat twin turboprop transport designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union by the Antonov Design Bureau from 1957.-Design and development:...

2 48 48 Replacement aircraft: Antonov 148
ATR 42-500 1 N/a Operated by Aerogaviota
Aerogaviota
Aerogaviota is an airline based in Havana, Cuba. It operates domestic passenger charters for the national tourist authority. Its main base is Playa Baracoa Airport, Havana-History:...

Ilyushin Il-96-300
Ilyushin Il-96
The Ilyushin Il-96 is a four-engined long-haul widebody airliner designed by Ilyushin in the Soviet Union and manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association in Voronezh, Russia...

3 18 244 262 CU-T1250, CU-T1251, CU-T1254
Tupolev Tu-204-100E
Tupolev Tu-204
The Tupolev Tu-204 is a twin-engined medium-range jet airliner capable of carrying 210 passengers, designed by Tupolev and produced by Aviastar SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association. First introduced in 1989, it is considered to be broadly equivalent to the Boeing 757 and has competitive...

2 12 212 224 CU-T1701, CU-T1702
Tupolev Tu-204-100CE
Tupolev Tu-204
The Tupolev Tu-204 is a twin-engined medium-range jet airliner capable of carrying 210 passengers, designed by Tupolev and produced by Aviastar SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association. First introduced in 1989, it is considered to be broadly equivalent to the Boeing 757 and has competitive...

 (Cargo)
2 CU-C1700, CU-C1703
Yakovlev Yak-42D
Yakovlev Yak-42
The Yakovlev Yak-42 is a 100/120-seat three-engined mid-range passenger jet. It was designed as a replacement for several obsolete Aeroflot jets as a mid-range passenger jet...

5 120 120 CU-T1704, CU-T1272, CU-T1279
CU-T1705, CU-T1255, CU-T1247
Total 17 3

*Business Class is not offered on some short haul flights.

External links