over the last few decades it has dramatically improved performance by com-
pletely upgrading its airplane fleet and modernizing facilities. The airline's safety
and performance is currently on par with all other North American operators. In
fact, the majority of Cubana's airplanes are far newer than the average
throughout the airline industry, and in terms of friendliness and comfort, Cubana is
ranked well above the mean. If you were hesitant about taking flights in Cuba be-
cause you imagined boarding a rickety, propeller aircraft that was originally manu-
factured decades ago, you can rest assured, that is not the case.
For international flights, Cubana operates a fleet of new Airbus jets which usually
travel at full capacity. For internal flights, they fly new Antonov regional passenger
jets. Although Antonov does not have the name recognition of either Boeing or
Airbus, it is, nonetheless, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world
with a high safety score. Aside from some small superficial differences, the An-
tonov jets look, feel and perform almost identically to Airbus and Boeing planes.
Flights can be purchased online, via the Cubana website (www.cubana.cu) and
are also available through tour operators. In Cuba, flights can be purchased at
Cubana sales offices located in all major cities and towns. Flights purchased in an
office, with cash, are usually a bit cheaper than those purchased online. Also, it is
important to note that Cuban citizens can purchase flight tickets at dramatically
reduced cost. For example, while a standard flight from Havana to Santiago de
Cuba (located on the other tip of the island) can cost 150 CUC for a foreigner, a
Cuban citizen will only pay about 12 CUC. If you are traveling with a Cuban com-
panion, it is always cheaper to have them buy their own flight tickets directly at a
Cubana sales office.