I’m planning a trip to Argentina, and as I always do, am checking my flight options. One option–via Havana on an Ilyushin IL-96–has really caught my eye.
Cubana Ilyushin IL-96
Cubana operates a fleet of four IL-96 aircraft. It debuted the aircraft in 2006 and has operated it on flights to Buenos Aires, Paris, and Madrid. In 2017, the aircraft were pulled out of service for heavy maintenance and at least one is back in service.
Cubana flies every Sunday from Havana to Buenos Aires on the IL-96 departing in the morning and arriving in Buenos Aires in the evening.
A paid business class ticket costs 708EUR.
There are very few “Club Tropical” Cubana reviews out there. Wandering Aramean did a report a few years ago, but I haven’t seen once since.
Business class has 2-2-2 seating with recliner seats. We’re talking old school. In fact, I’d be tempted to fly economy class since the seats looks so plush and the legroom is a generous 32″.
Forget wi-fi and power outlets. These IL-96 aircraft don’t even have personal IFE screens. There’s also no overhead bins in the center. That’s an Ilyushin distinctive, but seems like an inefficient use of space.
But Is It Legal?
Tourism is once again banned in Cuba. But visits under the following parameters are permitted:
- Family visits
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials
- Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing Department of Commerce regulations and guidelines with respect to Cuba or engaged in by U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign firms
Does my blog count as journalism? That’s the argument I’d make if the Treasury Department ever decided to protest my visit.
I’m not sure how useful an IL-96 review would be, but I’m open to it…I think it would be an interesting product and airline to review. And perhaps, with all its recent issues, more useful than a review of Avianca.
Would you read a Cubana IL-96 review?