Reuters) – Russia’s biggest cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Group has suspended all flights using Boeing aircraft due to Western sanctions, it said on Friday.
Sanctions have cut off the supply of most aircraft and parts to Russia. The United States and Europe have closed their airspace to Russian airlines, and Moscow has responded by imposing the same measure on them.
Volga-Dnepr said in a statement it had stopped operations of two of its subsidaries – AirBridgeCargo and Atran – that use 18 Boeing 747 and 6 Boeing 737 airplanes due to sanctions and a decision by Bermuda’s Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) to terminate their safety certificates.
- Flying over Russia has been a battle for international airlines due to airspace restrictions imposed by the country.
- Russia has used its airspace as a geopolitical tool to get countries to do what it wants.
- Prior to current bans, US carriers had “patchwork” agreements with Russia to allow them to fly over to countries in Asia.
“The management of Volga Dnepr has made a conscious decision to find a possible solution together with partners and state regulators,” it said.
Volga-Dnepr, which describes itself as the world leader in the oversize and heavy cargo market, continues to fly Russian-made aircraft including An-124 and Il-76 cargo jets.
Russia has passed a law allowing the country’s airlines to place aircraft leased from foreign companies on Russia’s aircraft register – a manoeuvre likely to stoke Western fears of a mass default involving hundreds of jetliners.