Russia ‘steals’ 500 Western-owned planes

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Russia ‘steals’ 500 Western-owned planes

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered around 500 planes owned by Western leasing companies to remain in Russia.

The Airbus and Boeing aircraft were due to be returned to the leasing companies under sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

However, Russia’s official Tass news agency reported that the President has signed a law that will gives it ownership over foreign aircraft leased by Russian companies.

It also says the planes will be issued with domestic airworthiness certificates, suggesting they will be flown on domestic routes.

Many airlines, including Aeroflot and British Airways’ former codeshare partner S7, have leased aircraft from Western companies, which have cancelled their contracts and asked for the aircraft to be returned.

But according to the Tass report: “Amendments to the Russian Air Code and some other legislative acts make it possible for Russian airlines to keep the foreign aircraft fleet and give an opportunity to operate them on domestic lines.

“The law is aimed at preserving the foreign airplane fleet with Russian operators for purposes of smooth operation of civil aviation as part of anti-sanction measures.”

However, it isn’t clear how the aircraft will be maintained for domestic flights as Airbus and Boeing have ceased supplying parts and maintenance information to Russia.

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