Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cubana: Antiques in the air?

A Cubana Tu-204 at the MAKS Airshow in 2007. Credit: Wikipedia
More American tourists are traveling to Cuba these days and some are climbing aboard Cubana de Aviation flights.
Using data from, the Motley Fool listed the fleet age of top 15 airlines in the U.S.  I added Cubana to the list, below, so you can see how it compares to U.S.-based airlines.
  1. Virgin America -- 5 years
  2. Spirit Airlines -- 5.2 years
  3. Republic Airways -- 5.5 years
  4. JetBlue -- 7.4 years
  5. Frontier Airlines -- 8.2 years
  6. Alaska Air -- 9.6 years
  7. Hawaiian Airlines -- 10 years
  8. AirTran -- 10.9 years
  9. SkyWest -- 11 years
  10. Southwest Airlines -- 11.7 years
  11. US Airways -- 12.1 years
  12. American Airlines -- 13.6 years
  13. United Airlines -- 13.6 years
  14. Cubana -- 15.8 years
  15. Delta Air Lines -- 16.9 years
  16. Allegiant Travel -- 22 years
These are estimates based on data reported to and other websites that track information on aircraft.
Some of the information that is reported to aircraft tracking sites isn't accurate.
For instance, a site called One Spotter lists as active the registration of a Cubana Antonov An-24RV aircraft built in 1973.
The plane, with a tail number of CU-C1257, is a cargo plane. And at 42, it would be the oldest plane in Cubana's fleet. But another site, Irish Air Pics, says the Antonov has been retired and converted into a restaurant in Santa Clara.
AirFleets says Cubana operates four models of aircraft. They are listed below along with their number, average age and age as compared to other airlines.
  • 1 Airbus A319: 13.3 years. Of 131 airlines operating this type of aircraft, Cubana ranks 106.
  • 4 Airbus A320: 20 years. Of 239 airlines operating this type of aircraft, Cubana ranks 212.
  • 1 ATR 42/72: 13.7 years. Of 161 airlines operating this type of aircraft, Cubana ranks 92
  • 4 Iliouchine Il-96: 12.7. Of 3 airlines operating this type of aircraft Cubana ranks 2.
AirFleets says its calculations are approximate and may be based on incomplete data. The site has information on only 10 Cubana planes. One Spotter lists 20.

American airliner used plane that crashed in Cuba

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