Seventy-eight Russian aircraft have been seized abroad, the Interfax news agency quoted Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev as saying on Tuesday, as Moscow grapples with the consequences of international sanctions over events in Ukraine.
Sanctions have cut off the supply of most aircraft, parts and services to Russia, while Russian airlines have 515 jets leased from abroad.
“[We have] lost 78 planes,” Savelyev said, adding that these aircraft were seized abroad and would not be returned to Russia.
Russia has passed a law allowing the country’s airlines to place aircraft leased from foreign companies on Russia’s aircraft register, but airlines are hesitant to use it, fearing they may jeopardize ties with international partners.
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Russia had 1,367 planes when sanctions were imposed, and almost 800 of them have now been placed on the country’s aircraft register, Savelyev said, without specifying how many jets on the list were leased from global leasing companies.
Almost all Boeing and Airbus aircraft used by Russian airlines were registered in Bermuda and Ireland, but a week ago Bermuda and Ireland’s aviation authorities suspended certification of all Russian-operated airplanes.
Savelyev said Russia was being guided by Iran’s experience of how to service aircraft in a similar situation.
Russia says 78 of its aircraft have been seized abroad: Report