Russia has made the decision to ban some international flights out of the country to keep the rented planes from being seized by foreign owners.
Due to take effect from 6 March, the order applies to all airlines who have leased planes from foreign owners.
The Russian aviation regulator stressed in a statement the urgency of the matter:
There remains a “high risk of Russian airlines’ planes being held or seized abroad”.
Aeroflot also announced on Saturday its plan to halt all international flights from 8 March, which is the deadline for all Russian aircraft to return back to Russia.
What does this achieve?
It gives Aeroflot, S7 and other Russian carriers the ability to retain hundreds of aircraft that, under European Union sanctions, should’ve been returned to owners by 28 March.
This move also has the secluding effect of isolating Russia from the rest of the world even further.
It has now become even more difficult for citizens to leave the country and travel internationally, especially after numerous countries sealed off their airspace to Russian aircraft in one of many responses to the invasion.
The decision has made it tricky for aircraft owners in the West such as Europe’s Airbus and the U.S Boeing to figure out how to retrieve their many aircraft as easily as previously anticipated.
Financial losses are expected but not to be as costly as one may think as financial alternatives such as insurance policies and maintenance reserves could help ease potential losses.
Elsewhere, Airbus and Boeing announced a suspension of their services to the Russian aviation industry, in the form of avionic parts and other services, earlier this week.
This move presents as another blow to Russia’s travel network and connectivity with the surrounding world in the face of a war it began.
What do you think of Russia’s ban on international flights?