Russian airlines suspend international flights for fear of hijacking their planes.
Rosaviatsia, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, has recommended that domestic airlines suspend all international flights except flights to Belarus. The announcement was made in particular to Russian airlines that own leased aircraft from leasing companies in Europe and the United States.
International leasing companies need to recover more than 700 aircraft from Russian airlines out of a total of 1000 existing aircraft in Russia. In times of war and because of the bans imposed on Russia, leasing companies have to protect their planes because they are no longer insured.
The March 5 announcement, which discourages both passenger and cargo flights, is a de facto recognition of the crushing effect of international sanctions since Russia launched its widespread invasion of Ukraine.
Rosaviatsia suggested that by operating international flights, companies would risk having their planes confiscated on the basis of new bans on leasing to Russia. The recommendation excludes airlines with Russian aircraft or those that do not risk confiscation of aircraft.
Aeroflot and S7, some of the largest airlines in Russia, have announced the suspension of international flights starting March 8. Affected passengers will be able to travel to / from Russia via foreign airlines flying to / from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Serbia and other states that have not closed the airspace for Russian flights.