Russia and Cuba are considering the possibility of constructing an international airport near Havana, Izvestiya reports. The agreement on cooperation in this area was reached during the visit of Dmitry Medvedev to Cuba in February.
The parties have already chosen the airport’s location – it is the air force base located in San Antonio de los Banos. The military airfield is located 30 km away from Havana and 10 km away from the operating international airport – Jose Marti International Airport — Cuba’s main international and domestic gateway. The air base has three runways built in cooperation with USSR in 1970-1980s.
The Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, said last November that a program for cooperation with Cuba for the period until 2020 assumes creation of an aviation transport hub and a Russian-Cuban airline, which will be performing flights from Havana to Latin America (domestic routes) and, possibly, to North America. These moves should cause the increase of tourist traffic from Russia to the region.
In addition, Cuba intends to purchase three An-158 aircraft and three Il-96 jets in the near future. The total value of this contract is assessed at $650 million.