Rare Venezuelan Air Force’s Chinese tactical cargo plane makes an appearance in Malta

On Sept. 17, a quite rare visitor made an appearance at Malta International Airport: a Venezuelan Air Force Shaanxi Y-8F-200.

Wearing new special markings on tail promoting the “Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas” (ALBA) the Y-8F (with radio callsign FAV0102) is one of the eight such plane purchased by Caracas in 2012.

The aircraft is a Chinese development of the Soviet Antonov An-12 tactical transport plane assigned to the Grupo Aéreo de Transporte No.6 based at the Base Aérea El Libertador at Palo Negro.

The reason of the Venezuela Air Force plane’s unusual stopover in the middle of Mediterranean Sea is still unknown.


Image credit: Malcolm Bezzina


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.