This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Friday, a Boeing 737-200 crashed into a yucca field shortly after takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana, Cuba, killing 110 passengers and crew. The Cubana de Aviación flight was operated by Aerolineas Damojh, also known as Global Air. Now, new reports are raising serious safety concerns about the airline.

The aircraft was one of three aging Boeing 737s in Global Air’s fleet. According to, the 39-year old Boeing 737-200 was the oldest aircraft operated by the charter airline. The two surviving aircraft are a Boeing 737-200 built in 1988 with the current registration XA-UMQ and a Boeing 737-500 built in 1991 registered as XA-UZK.

While older aircraft themselves aren’t necessarily dangerous, new details are emerging of safety issues at the small charter airline. The crashed aircraft had been barred from entering the airspace of South American country Guyana. According to Guyanese Civil Aviation Director Capt. Egbert Field, Global Air had been “dangerously overloading” luggage on its flights. Inspections unveiled not just unsafe luggage storage in the belly of the aircraft but also found suitcases stored in aircraft bathrooms.

In November 2010, a 35-year old Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when the aircraft’s front landing gear failed to deploy. No passengers or crew were injured, and the resulting fire was extinguished by emergency personnel.

On Saturday, the Mexican government announced that its National Civil Aviation Authority will perform an operational audit of Damojh Airlines to see if its “current operating conditions continue meeting regulations.”

Black Boxes Recovered

Crash investigators have been able to secure the black box — the generic term for the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. The recorders are reported to be in “good condition.”

As an aircraft owned by Mexican airline Global Air, Mexican officials have sent two civil aviation specialists to join the investigation. Boeing released a statement that it has a technical team “ready to assist as permitted under U.S. law and at the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Cuban authorities.”

Updated Death Toll and Nationalities Identified

Of the 113 souls on board the flight, 110 perished in the crash. The three survivors, all Cuban women, remain in critical condition at a hospital in Havana. This loss of life makes this crash Cuba’s most deadly accident since 1989, when a Soviet Ilyushin-62M crashed killing 150 passengers, crew and bystanders.

Friday’s six-person crew were all Mexican citizens. A vast majority of the passengers on the flight were Cuban, with only five non-Cuban passengers believed to have been on-board. Two Argentinian citizens were confirmed to have died in the crash. One Mexican tourist and two passengers “from Western Sahara” were the other foreigners reported to have been on-board the doomed flight.

Among the 110 victims of the plane crash were 20 evangelical Nazarene Church priests, according to a member the Cuban Council of Churches.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.