Ilyushin-Finance and Cuba's Aviaimport have signed the $100 million contract for delivery of two Il-96-300s to Cubana. The aircraft will come with customised cabins, allowing quick conversion from VIP configuration (for Cuban leader Fidel Castro) to a passenger layout in 4h. The first aircraft will be delivered by March 2005, and the second by June. According to Ilyushin-Finance general director Aleksandr Rubtsov, the major difficulty is to complete in time the translation of Il-96 manuals into English.
Source: Flight International