Russia’s Aeroflot Suspending International Flights

Russia’s Aeroflot Suspending International Flights

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The world has been shrinking for Russia’s Aeroflot in recent days, as all kinds of countries have added flight bans against Russia. So while the state-owned airline hasn’t been able to operate many international flights, the carrier’s global route network is about to shrink even further.

Aeroflot suspends international flights March 8, 2022

Aeroflot has announced plans to suspend all international flights in the coming days. Specifically:

  • Aeroflot’s international flights from Russia will be suspended as of March 6, 2022
  • Aeroflot’s international flights to Russia will be suspended as of March 8, 2022

The only exception to this will be flights to Belarus, which will continue to operate (though for political purposes that might as well be considered a domestic flight). This change has come at the recommendation of Russia’s state aviation authority.

Aeroflot is suspending international flights

Why is Aeroflot suspending international flights?

The primary motivation for Aeroflot suspending international flights has nothing to do with airspace closures, or with Aeroflot’s ability to sell tickets being greatly limited. Rather it has to do with the risk of the carrier’s planes being seized. All kinds of sanctions are being imposed against Russia, and among those, the European Union has added a ban on leasing aircraft to Russian airlines.

Some of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies are based in the European Union, so hundreds of jets operated by Russian airlines are at risk of being seized. Aeroflot is refusing to cooperate with leasing companies’ demands to return the jets, so the decision has been made to just operate planes domestically. This way aircraft leasing companies can’t seize these jets while they’re at foreign airports.

So yeah, Aeroflot is essentially flying around “stolen” jets domestically at this point. With the Ruble having collapsed, I also can’t imagine that Aeroflot would even be able to make lease payments anymore. And to think that in 2020, Aeroflot outlined a plan to become a global five star airline.

One has to wonder what the long term goal here is? I guess Aeroflot hopes these sanctions will be lifted eventually, and the airline can keep flying these jets in the future? Seems like a stretch, but then again, one has to wonder what the long term plan is for so much going on right now…

Aeroflot’s big jets will now exclusively fly domestically

Bottom line

Aeroflot is suspending its international flights by March 8, 2022, with the exception of flights to Belarus. That’s because aircraft leasing companies are trying to seize jets that are operated by Aeroflot, and if the airline operates internationally, there’s a high risk of that happening. By just keeping these jets in Russia, Aeroflot is unlikely to face any issues with its fleet being taken away… at least for now.

What do you make of Aeroflot’s decision to suspend international flights?

Conversations (45)
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  1. Cerberus Guest

    So... Aeroflot stole those planes. I hope they'll be someday forced to return those planes to their rightful owners.

  2. ted ottinger Guest

    .There is no reasoning with a psychotic killer like Putin. The only hope is that some general will put a bullet through his head asap

  3. Dr. Bob Guest

    Stop referring to Crimea.

    It was won by Russia under Katherine II when Ukraine was not even a part of Russia.

    It was given to Ukraine by Hruschov in 1950' for administrative reasons. He was also Ukrainian.

    Now Crimea is a strategic point.

    Disclaimer: in no way I support current aggression by Russia.

    But Crimea belongs to Russia.

  4. Eddie Rodriguez Guest

    It only a matter of time before they can't even fly domestically since they will need maintenance, repairs, and spare parts. And with the international sanctions imposed on the Russian economy Russians won't have any money to purchase tickets.

  5. Gerard Guest

    It's now called aeroflop

  6. Jo Guest

    This is western BS propoganda,the leasing companies unilaterally are in breach of contracts ,& want to call the aircrafts 'stolen'

    1. tcATL Guest

      Ok, Vlad, keep trolling from your bunker.

  7. Alex Guest

    Add to this that Boeing and Airbus are no longer providing technical support and parts- the planes can’t fly anyway as they can’t be maintained. So the seizure threat is just a small part of the bigger picture.

  8. Timbo Guest

    I've never read so much rubbish about what's in a lease contract from done of the replies. This situation is covered by a force majeure clause

    1. Alessandro Guest

      Probably the situation is covered either by specific sanctions clauses or force majeure, or both, depending on the agreement. Anyhow, EU-
      based leasing companies abide by EU-imposed sanctions.

  9. JOSEPH Guest

    Not returning the planes is a shortsighted policy. One day Aeroflot will have to pay all arrears, interest and penalties if they ever want to fly further than to Minsk or Damascus.

  10. Chase Smith Guest

    Everyone loves to kiss Russians Asses, why? Will you get a doggy treat? Airlines were sanctioned because Russia is the Agressor attacking Ukrane and killing children women& husbands of peacefull families, why does everyone want impress Putin? Where is your mind, I know that if your city is under attack for no reason, other than greed& power, your bizzare backwards liberal opinion will be burned along with your cities, wake up people! Time to stop kissing ass

  11. Bk Guest

    Russia is prepared for West aggression. New order will eventually emerged and no one country especially the size of Russian can be totally isolated. So everyone be prepared to pay more for everything if these are OK to make you feel good morally. At the first place, US, Nato and EU should not be making empty promises to Ukraine and Zelensky naively goes along and started taking steps internally and internationally to defy Russia knowing...

    Russia is prepared for West aggression. New order will eventually emerged and no one country especially the size of Russian can be totally isolated. So everyone be prepared to pay more for everything if these are OK to make you feel good morally. At the first place, US, Nato and EU should not be making empty promises to Ukraine and Zelensky naively goes along and started taking steps internally and internationally to defy Russia knowing of the great danger. Who is to blame?

  12. Stephen A Guest

    Wow! Andrew, are you a friend of Tsar Vladimir the Great? I speak a little Russian and I have been to Russia and Ukraine many times. I have lots of friends in both countries. I have seen Putin from afar in the Kremlin (Moscow's Kremlin) in real life. He is a pasty, small man with an ego the size of the world. But nothing that Putin is doing in Ukraine resembles accepted world conventions of...

    Wow! Andrew, are you a friend of Tsar Vladimir the Great? I speak a little Russian and I have been to Russia and Ukraine many times. I have lots of friends in both countries. I have seen Putin from afar in the Kremlin (Moscow's Kremlin) in real life. He is a pasty, small man with an ego the size of the world. But nothing that Putin is doing in Ukraine resembles accepted world conventions of human decency. He follows the same song book that he has done so many times before, in Grozny, in Georgia, in Syria, and in Crimea (except that they gave up), in Donbass.
    Putin is emboldened by the weaknesses of the whimpish western leaders who cower behind their fear of starting a war with Putin. They have already told him over and over again that they won't send troops to Ukraine. Bad mistake! This just gives Putin carte blanche to do as he wants. Understand one thing. Putin will never stop or back down. He's told us many times about how he backed a rat into a corner when he was a boy in Pyotr (St Pete). This tells you what lessons he learnt from being attacked by the cornered rat.
    Western leaders have buried their heads in the sand. They think that by offering Ukraine as a sacrifice to Putin that he will stop. HE WON'T STOP. instead he continues to exploit the weaknesses of the divided West.
    These leasing companies are obliged to conduct their businesses according to the laws that govern them. If their government tells them to stop doing business with Russia, they must do that. It is not their choice.
    In late November 2009, while travelling between Moscow and St Petersburg on the overnight train, we arrived at the Muskovski Vaksal (train station) in St Pete in the morning. The place was swarming with Russian troops. The train just a few minutes behind our train had been blown up by Chechen separatists. I was a foreign citizen travelling in Russia and I will never forget that day.
    The Russian army has no sense of humour. They are very task focused, and there are no rules when it comes to achieving their goals. Putin will not stop at Ukraine. He will pick off the non-NATO countries one at a time - Moldova is next, then Georgia, and he will engineer an excuse to invade Finland. But, only one country at a time, all the while Western leaders saying well he will stop after that. He will never stop. The West is naive if it tells itself this.

    1. Rachel Guest

      I think you Hallucinating.
      The Georgia will be Georgia , Moldova will be Moldova. And Finland will be Finland.
      Crimea Was always Russia, if you read history you would of know. Same is Donetsk and Luhansk both of them Russian Cities. Ukraine was attacking them for 8 years sending Rockets every day just because they wanna be Russians and speak Russian Language Ukraine want them to suffer. You probably don’t know this because...

      I think you Hallucinating.
      The Georgia will be Georgia , Moldova will be Moldova. And Finland will be Finland.
      Crimea Was always Russia, if you read history you would of know. Same is Donetsk and Luhansk both of them Russian Cities. Ukraine was attacking them for 8 years sending Rockets every day just because they wanna be Russians and speak Russian Language Ukraine want them to suffer. You probably don’t know this because news Doesn’t show this.
      For your information Shelling of Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip - periodic shelling of Israeli territory from mortars, unguided Qassam rockets, Grad rockets and long-range missiles (Fajr and others), carried out by militants from the Hamas movement and its allies that control the Gaza Strip. So no one tell you this about Israel. But when Israel ask for help no one care. That’s what happened when Donetsk and Luhansk asked Russia for help after 8 years of fire rockets attack.
      I'm shocked how much you Brainwashed with fake news. Read independent news or news from israel.

  13. Paul Guest

    Flying these planes domestically is a hollow victory and is simply delaying the inevitable. Curtailing their international flights is yet another thumbscrew being turned on Russia, on top of many others. The Russians can fake nonchalance for a while, but it’s just a matter of time till they bleed …

  14. kenish Guest

    Aside from lessors seizing aircraft, vendors could refuse to provide services unless they're paid on the spot in cash (fuel, baggage loading, flight planning, etc). Individuals might act too...tug drivers refusing to push back the aircraft, or refusing to connect the jetway or air stairs.

  15. Sara Guest

    It's not a quality life to be at war.

  16. Victoria M Guest

    My son and his girlfriend arrived home a day early last Saturday on SU 102….the next day (when they were originally supposed to fly, the flight was turned back over Greenland).
    They said, unusually for Aeroflot, most of the passengers were Americans leaving….I’m all for banning Aeroflot…but I also see that there are a lot of people who still need to get out…..very complicated….

    1. Nelson Guest

      Nothing complicated. Airlines as Qatar, Emirates and Turkish are still flying to russia, so plenty of options to any corner of the world.

    2. Icarus Guest

      Did you consider how to buy a ticket if visa and Mastercard suspended transactions and they do a bank transfer.

  17. Creditcrunch Diamond

    An update from Russia that they will cease flying leased aircraft outside of Russia in fear of them being seized ; ( from BBC News )

    “ Russia is aiming to stop many of its international flights that operate with leased aircraft.

    The move is to prevent them being seized when arriving in a country that has sanctions in place.

    Russia's state aviation authority has recommended that Russian airlines with foreign-leased aircraft suspend flights of...

    An update from Russia that they will cease flying leased aircraft outside of Russia in fear of them being seized ; ( from BBC News )

    “ Russia is aiming to stop many of its international flights that operate with leased aircraft.

    The move is to prevent them being seized when arriving in a country that has sanctions in place.

    Russia's state aviation authority has recommended that Russian airlines with foreign-leased aircraft suspend flights of passengers and cargo travelling outside Russia from 6 March and from foreign countries to Russia from 8 March.

    There are billions of pounds worth of leased aircraft in Russia.

    Planes are leased into Russia for tax purposes due to high import taxes when buying the aircraft.

    As we have reported, Russia's national airline Aeroflot has cancelled nearly all international flights from 8 March, because of what it called "additional circumstances" impeding its operations.”

    1. Nelson Guest

      The first of S7 has been seized at Yerevan.

  18. Andy Diamond

    I'm surprised that they stop international flights entirely (except to Belarus), given that many countries, including large ones such as China, India or most ex-USSR countries such as Kazakhstan have reacted relatively mildly. I really doubt that a judge in these countries, may be except India, would seize a Russian plane.

    I think it's rather that they want to get the citizens back, because they are probably unable to sustain themselves abroad, with their credit...

    I'm surprised that they stop international flights entirely (except to Belarus), given that many countries, including large ones such as China, India or most ex-USSR countries such as Kazakhstan have reacted relatively mildly. I really doubt that a judge in these countries, may be except India, would seize a Russian plane.

    I think it's rather that they want to get the citizens back, because they are probably unable to sustain themselves abroad, with their credit cards blocked etc. A bit like the repatriation flights at the beginning of the pandemic.

  19. Andrew Guest

    Aeroflot flying around stolen Jets.?
    That remark it’s not correct.
    The lessor are the agresor and breaching and breaking a legal contract with Aeroflot.
    Aeroflot it’s not the one breaking the rules.
    I any case Aeroflot can suit the lessor.
    Usually those contracts have heavy penalties if you return the aircraft before the end of the contract. All this plays well for the current situation of Aeroflot since the agresor...

    Aeroflot flying around stolen Jets.?
    That remark it’s not correct.
    The lessor are the agresor and breaching and breaking a legal contract with Aeroflot.
    Aeroflot it’s not the one breaking the rules.
    I any case Aeroflot can suit the lessor.
    Usually those contracts have heavy penalties if you return the aircraft before the end of the contract. All this plays well for the current situation of Aeroflot since the agresor it’s the leasing companies. Instead they should have wait for Aeroflot to default if that’s the case and go to Court and suit them for breaking the agreement. This situation are common in the airline business

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Force majeure and war are standard exceptions to contracts esp. in aviation.
      The chances are high that the leasing companies won't see these aircraft again and Russia won't be forced to pay for them. Russia also might not be able to fly these aircraft outside of Russia or the Russia-influenced world where those countries might not enforce western contracts - but at the risk of airlines in those countries being blocked from access to...

      Force majeure and war are standard exceptions to contracts esp. in aviation.
      The chances are high that the leasing companies won't see these aircraft again and Russia won't be forced to pay for them. Russia also might not be able to fly these aircraft outside of Russia or the Russia-influenced world where those countries might not enforce western contracts - but at the risk of airlines in those countries being blocked from access to western markets.

      Let's remember that China has several models of commercial aircraft in the pipeline. We could be seeing a new Cold War with the world divided between East and West in aviation and a whole lot more.

    2. Andrew Guest

      Yes, very helpful comment.
      And probably as you mentioning, I have to assume Aeroflot could have contract with lessor in more friendly jurisdictions such as UAE, China, Israel.
      As far as I can witness, Aeroflot is still flying and has schedule flights to friendly countries such as Turkey, Maldives, UAE, and the ex-soviet republics.
      We will see how this will play out.

    3. Jeff Guest

      Depends on what the contract says or when the contracts are up. But one thing is for sure, they won't be getting parts to fix them, no access to technical manuals and who would lease to them again.

  20. Afrim Guest

    It’s unfortunate that at the end of the game, everyone suffers! But keep in mind that because of one individual and his cronies, Ukraine and its 44+ Million people are suffering, many dying! I’s say that instead of asking the world to stop pressuring your country, you and 150+ million Russians should rise up and bring down the new age Hitler that you brought on power… just sayin’!

  21. Creditcrunch Diamond

    They are sending Aeroflot B777’s to Turkey at the moment as that’s were stranded Russian passengers have been ferried too.

  22. Daniel Guest

    Make this clear, I don't support Russia Invasion to Ukraine, and I condemn them. My Prayer with Ukrainian people and stop this war..!
    But in the Other hand, I feel sad for these Civilian Russian people who not support their government action to Ukraine. They will loose their job and so many impact for them to come. Like This Aeroflot aviation company.
    How many employees will loose their jobs because Aeroflot get the...

    Make this clear, I don't support Russia Invasion to Ukraine, and I condemn them. My Prayer with Ukrainian people and stop this war..!
    But in the Other hand, I feel sad for these Civilian Russian people who not support their government action to Ukraine. They will loose their job and so many impact for them to come. Like This Aeroflot aviation company.
    How many employees will loose their jobs because Aeroflot get the impact of on of many sanctions to Russia. They have nothing to with Putin Action and invasion to Ukraine. But they will take the risk from what their leader do. The Both of countries will suffer because of this. war. Please stop this war mr Putin. Think about you people will suffer too because of your action and ego..!!

    1. Stand for Ukraine Guest

      You must also remember Aeroflot is a state entity and has always been tied into politics (eg in the soviet days many of the staff were kgb)

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Every airline wears the flag or is registered by its home country. That is the way global aviation is organized.

    3. Nelson Guest

      Aeroflot has almost all A/C's registered outside russia. Due to tax purposes.

    4. DCS Diamond

      I feel sad for these Civilian Russian people who not support their government action to Ukraine. They will loose their job and so many impact for them to come.

      This hand-wringing about what may happen to ordinary, cuddly and peace-loving Russians is totally ridiculous. Putin should have thought about the consequences on his people of his unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign nation. If Russians cannot stand the pain that their leader's megalomaniacal...

      I feel sad for these Civilian Russian people who not support their government action to Ukraine. They will loose their job and so many impact for them to come.

      This hand-wringing about what may happen to ordinary, cuddly and peace-loving Russians is totally ridiculous. Putin should have thought about the consequences on his people of his unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign nation. If Russians cannot stand the pain that their leader's megalomaniacal adventurism is causing at home, then they need to rise up and topple him !

      It's the Ukrainians who are the victim of an aggression, are being slaughtered and my even lose their country, so forgive me if I reject as totally nonsensical all the comments about how ordinary Russians would be inconvenienced by sanctions or anything else the world does to counter Putin's aggression.

  23. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

    Presumably the long term plan is to “liberate” the leased aircraft and tell the European leasing companies to go fluck themselves

  24. Scudder Diamond

    I have to imagine that if the carriers try to dodge the repos they'll lock themselves out of the leasing market for generations to come.

  25. UA-NYC Guest

    Bummer for Tucker Carlson, will have to fly private to Moscow now to keep up his Putin boot licking

    1. Jill Guest

      Who is he & why’s he that important?

    2. Nelson Guest

      You still can fly commercial from any corner of the world to Moscow, i.e. Qatar, Emirates, Turkish...

    3. RTFlyer New Member

      Carlson admitted on 3/5 he was wrong.

  26. RF Guest

    The repo people better get to work quickly!

  27. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Love their reasoning in the press release, "additional circumstances that impede flight operations".....ya mean like war and the possibility of having your aircraft seized?

    1. Roger Guest

      They needto suffer I say they take them to court and take the planes away anyway

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

JOSEPH Guest

Not returning the planes is a shortsighted policy. One day Aeroflot will have to pay all arrears, interest and penalties if they ever want to fly further than to Minsk or Damascus.

1
Stephen A Guest

Wow! Andrew, are you a friend of Tsar Vladimir the Great? I speak a little Russian and I have been to Russia and Ukraine many times. I have lots of friends in both countries. I have seen Putin from afar in the Kremlin (Moscow's Kremlin) in real life. He is a pasty, small man with an ego the size of the world. But nothing that Putin is doing in Ukraine resembles accepted world conventions of human decency. He follows the same song book that he has done so many times before, in Grozny, in Georgia, in Syria, and in Crimea (except that they gave up), in Donbass. Putin is emboldened by the weaknesses of the whimpish western leaders who cower behind their fear of starting a war with Putin. They have already told him over and over again that they won't send troops to Ukraine. Bad mistake! This just gives Putin carte blanche to do as he wants. Understand one thing. Putin will never stop or back down. He's told us many times about how he backed a rat into a corner when he was a boy in Pyotr (St Pete). This tells you what lessons he learnt from being attacked by the cornered rat. Western leaders have buried their heads in the sand. They think that by offering Ukraine as a sacrifice to Putin that he will stop. HE WON'T STOP. instead he continues to exploit the weaknesses of the divided West. These leasing companies are obliged to conduct their businesses according to the laws that govern them. If their government tells them to stop doing business with Russia, they must do that. It is not their choice. In late November 2009, while travelling between Moscow and St Petersburg on the overnight train, we arrived at the Muskovski Vaksal (train station) in St Pete in the morning. The place was swarming with Russian troops. The train just a few minutes behind our train had been blown up by Chechen separatists. I was a foreign citizen travelling in Russia and I will never forget that day. The Russian army has no sense of humour. They are very task focused, and there are no rules when it comes to achieving their goals. Putin will not stop at Ukraine. He will pick off the non-NATO countries one at a time - Moldova is next, then Georgia, and he will engineer an excuse to invade Finland. But, only one country at a time, all the while Western leaders saying well he will stop after that. He will never stop. The West is naive if it tells itself this.

1
Nelson Guest

The first of S7 has been seized at Yerevan.

1
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