Penalties: Russian airlines continue to face problems
The High Court of Commerce in Colombo has upheld an Irish leasing company’s claim against Russian airline Aeroflot to ban an Airbus A330 from leaving the country.
The plane was stopped by Sri Lankan authorities at Bandaranaike Airport on June 2, hours before its flight to Moscow. The airline accommodated the passengers in a local hotel. According to RBC, Celestial Aviation Trading Limited – the Irish owner of the plane – went to court in Colombo to ask that Aeroflot planes be banned from leaving the country.
An airport spokesperson added that “the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka is discussing with the Attorney General how to resolve the issue with this aircraft”. For his part, the spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Agency noted that “Russia is taking an active part in this discussion.”
More than thirty planes have been returned
After Western sanctions, leasing companies began to demand the return of their equipment. As these sanctions threatened to cripple air travel across Russia, to protect the industry, the Putin government signed a law allowing the nationalization of aircraft. With this measure, hundreds of foreign planes were seized and registered in the country’s registry.
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Despite this and according to a document from Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia – which Reuters has had access to – Azur Air, iFly, Nordwind, Pegas Fly and Royal Flight have returned more than two dozen planes to their owners in total. “The planes of some Russian operators are currently at foreign airfields. From there they will be transferred to their owners under the guise of receiving an interview,” Rosaviatsia’s letter reads. She did not give details on the reasons for such a decision.
The specialist site Planespotters reports that a total of 31 aircraft did not return to Russia after February 27. They are spread across Turkey, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.