Cubana de Aviación takes back a Tupolev Tu-204 jet

The single-aisle aircraft had been undergoing maintenance in Russia since 2019 and arrived in Havana on September 18

The state-owned airline Cubana de Aviación has recovered one of its four Tupolev Tu-204 jets. The single-aisle aircraft had been undergoing maintenance in Russia since 2019 and was sent days ago to Havana, the capital of the Caribbean country.

The jet with registration number CU-T1702 had been delivered by Ilyushin Financing Co. on a leasing basis along with another identical model, registration number CU-T1701, in 2007.

Both flew until 2016 when they were removed from service, reportedly due to a lack of spare parts. Cubana managed to put the Tu-204 CU-T1702 in flying condition in July 2019, the jet arrived in Ulyanovsk, where it was manufactured.

Since then, the 186-seat aircraft has undergone heavy maintenance that appears to have been completed only in September, when the Tupolev returned to carry out check flights.

On September 17, the Tu-204 took off towards Reykjavik, Iceland, for a technical stopover, heading to Gander, Canada, for further refueling, until arriving in Havana the following day.

The aircraft was seen sporting a new Cubana paint scheme with a blue hue on the belly of the jet.

It is not yet clear what Cubana’s plans are for the recovered jet, but given the absence of aircraft in flying condition – there is only one active ATR, according to Planespotters – it is to be expected that the Tu-204 will soon be put into service shortly.

Cubana also has two Tu-204 freighters, received in the late 2000s and which have been out of service for several years.

One of two Cubana Tu-204 freighters that have been out of service for years (BriYYZ)

Back to the assembly line

The Tu-204 is a single-aisle jet with capacity for up to 210 passengers powered by old PS-90 turbofans and has been in production since 1990 in small quantities.

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The Tu-214 variant, produced by Aviastar, was once again in the plans of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) following Western trade sanctions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tupolev Tu-214

Under the plan, several Russian airlines ordered the aircraft to fill the gap opened by the ban on imports of Airbus and Boeing jets.


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