Boeing 737 Crashes After Takeoff From Havana, Cuba

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It’s being reported by Cuba’s state-run television that a 737 crashed shortly after takeoff from Havana today, at around 12:30PM local time.

The plane was apparently bound for Holguín, in Eastern Cuba, which suggests to me that this was flight CU972. The Mirror reports that the plane was carrying 107 passengers, and all reports suggest that there were casualties, though exact numbers haven’t yet been revealed. The pictures don’t look good, sadly.

I’m seeing media reports suggesting that this was a Cubana 737, though Cubana doesn’t operate any 737s themselves (they only have two turboprops and four IL-96s). Based on that, it looks to me like this was a plane that Cubana was leasing from Blue Panorama Aviation. They have a fleet of 737s, though only one of them is known to be operating flights within Cuba at the moment.