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Cuba and, its long time partner, Russia renew civil aviation relations
The president of the Civil Aeronautics Institute, Rogelio Acevedo and visiting Russian Transport Minister Igor Yevgenyevich Levitin signed a deal, which will cover tourism, cargo and passenger services.

'We have increased relations in the delivery of Russian aircraft and the training and testing of pilots, with an eye toward a 20 percent annual increase in Russian tourists to this continent,' Levitin told Granma.

Cuba purchased five new Russian aircraft in 2006, two Ilyuchin 96s and three Tupolevs to serve the two million visitors to Cuba annually.

Cuba allied itself with the Soviet Union some 30 years ago, and began using Soviet aircraft.

The three Cuban airlines, Cubana, Aerogaviota and Aerocaribean also lease airliners from other countries or buy them second hand.

In 2006, Acevedo said, Cuba was the principal destination in Latin America for Russian tourists, according to Granma.

Levitin said he agreed with his Cuban counterpart Jorge Luis Sierra to set up working groups to tackle rail and maritime transportation

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