Putin allows Russian airlines to fly foreign planes

That’s major, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise either…

Putin’s new law allows airlines to register foreign planes in Russia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in all sorts of sanctions from the international community. As this impacts the aviation industry, we found the following:

Faced with the challenges facing Russian aviation, Vladimir Putin today signed a law that essentially legalizes the flying of planes by Russian airlines. With this new law, Russian airlines are allowed to place aircraft leased from foreign companies on the Russian aircraft register.

With over 500 jets in Russia leased to foreign companies, this officially allows Russian airlines to continue operating these planes. As described, this new law is intended as a measure “to ensure the uninterrupted operation of activities in the field of civil aviation”.

As these planes are now allowed to be registered in Russia (according to Putin), they will be able to obtain national certificates of airworthiness. Granted, airlines will be limited in where they can fly these planes, so you can expect these re-registered planes to only operate in Russia.

Many Aeroflot aircraft will be re-registered in Russia

Why this development is really important

On the surface, this development is significant but not – it’s absolutely crazy that Russian airlines are trying to prevent planes from resuming, although not terribly surprising given all that’s going on.

Until now, we wondered about the duration of the current situation. Are we talking days, weeks, months, years or decades? With this decision by Putin, we are more or less assured that the impacts on aviation will be long-lasting.

Planes can only be registered in one country at a time, so I think it’s safe to say that with Russia trying to register these planes in a different country without permission from the owners, the current operators of these planes will never be allowed to fly these planes again internationally (well, maybe apart from flights to Belarus, etc.).

This is a major no-no, and it will have consequences. Russia’s decision here means that Russian airlines will face problems even after the current situation is over. Again, in the grand scheme of what is happening right now, this is not the most significant development.

This will have a lasting impact for Russian airlines

At the end of the line

Putin signed a law allowing Russian airlines to re-register foreign planes in Russia. Yes, despite the fact that these planes are usually owned by foreign leasing companies and are supposed to be seized. This is an unprecedented situation for commercial aviation, but again, these are unusual and scary times.

What do you think of this new Putin law?

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