Russia’s fear of losing their aircraft

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Aeroflot, Rossiya, S7 and Azur Air have announced the suspension of nearly all international flights to avoid seizing their aircrafts in foreign air space. This radical decision was forced by International sanctions against Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

Russia National Flag Carrier Aeroflot has announced that it would suspend all of its international flights, except to Minsk in Belarus from 8th March. This news came on Saturday, 5th of March 2022.

Aeroflot will continue to operate four daily flights to Minsk. The decision came after many countries and aircraft manufacturers imposed sanctions on Russian airlines and companies.

The announcement to suspend international flights came after Russia’s aviation agency recommended the Russian airlines operating leased planes registered outside the country not to fly abroad to avoid the seizure of the aircraft at foreign destinations.

Russian airlines possess a high risk of having their planes seized at foreign destinations as the majority of those aircraft belong to lessors, with many aircraft belonging to lessors based in Ireland and Bermuda, headed by AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft leasing company. Currently, 149 AerCap aircraft are in service with Russian airlines, as reported by ch-aviation.

Although the EU has banned all Russian aircraft, planes owned by the member state owners are allowed to enter the EU airspace as a scope of the sanctions. The leasing firms have already terminated their agreements as part of the recently imposed sanctions.

S7 Airlines

Image Credit: flickr

Russia’s second-largest airline, S7, has also cancelled all international flights effectively from Saturday, 5th March.

S7 had previously cancelled all flights to Europe from 26th February to 13th March, which does not seem to be resuming soon.

S7 had regular flights to destinations in Croatia, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and France in the European Union. It also operated flights to Egypt and Jordan, among others in North Africa. S7 also cancelled its international flights as its leased planes are likely to be seized abroad.

Rossiya Airlines

Image Credit: Flickr

Rossiya Airlines, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, has also decided to suspend international flights temporarily starting 8th March (00:00 MSK) due to new additional circumstances impeding flight operations.

Rossiya Airlines currently operates a fleet of 119 aircraft, split between 100 narrow-body and 19 wide-body aircraft. Its fleet comprises 18 Airbus A319s, 8 A320s, 11 Boeing 737s and 63 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s in the narrow-body sector along with 9 Boeing 747s and 10 Boeing 777 wide-bodies, according to data from airfleets.net.

Azur Airlines

Image Credit: Individual

Azur Air will also suspend international flights from Tuesday. Passengers holding round-trip tickets won’t be allowed to travel from midnight on Sunday with the charter airlines. However, Azur Air will be operating flights for Russians who are abroad in Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, Dubai, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Vietnam and the Maldives.

Azur Airlines currently has an all Boeing fleet of 33 aircraft comprising five Boeing 737s and 10 757 narrow-bodies along with 12 Boeing 767s and six 777s wide-bodies.

Source: Sam Chui – Celebrity AvGeek

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