I have a very reliable confirmation that three (3) nearly new Ilyushin IL-96-400 air-frames (originally cargo variants leased to the now bankrupt POLET) are now being converted into passenger variants in VASO for lease to Cubana. Each of these Air-frames had less that a total flight time of 1000 hours in POLET's fleet! Air-frames are being put through an OEM remanufacturing process to convert them into the world's first passenger variant of the super rare Ilyushin IL-96-400.
Cubana will be leasing them through a leasing agreement reached with Ilyushin Finance Corporation (IFC). Cubana already operates three (3) of the smaller Ilyushin Il-96-300 series along with several Tu-204 series aircraft and three (3) recently delivered Antonov An-158s. The Russian government has also placed an order for the completion and delivery of several unfinished IL-96-400 air-frames which are to be built to IL-96-400VPU specification (in essence, this a special purpose aircraft that could serve the dual function of VIP transport and Mobile Air command systems). I believe these ones will be replacing the four (4 ) ageing IL-86 units that currently serve with the Russian-SLO agency (also known as Rossiya).