Russia will suspend international operations of its flagship airline Aeroflot today.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the airlines of many European and NATO-allied countries have suspended travel to—and over—Russia. As part of international sanctions, international aircraft lessors have also terminated the leases of Russian leased aircraft. Suspension of Aeroflot’s international flights will have concrete effects on international supply chains and ensure that Russia will not lose its leased planes.
Aeroflot constituted one of the eight major hubs for international cargo amongst the SkyTeam consortium of commercial airlines. Furthermore, across all of Russia’s airlines, almost all of the aircraft are leased from foreign companies.
Members of the international SkyTeam consortium are likely to see increased prices for cargo and passenger flights increase without Russia as a hub for longer flights. Additionally, restricting Aeroflot’s planes to only domestic flights means that lessors will be unable to seize their planes from the Russian government. If a Russian leased plane were to land at an international airport, the lessor could legally reclaim their assets. In total, with this move, Russia will in effect be stealing nearly $10 billion, in aircraft across all of its major airlines, from international lessors.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Daniel is the Chief Operating Officer of Foreign brief. He oversees the production and publishing of all of Foreign Brief's products. His background is in the air, space and cyberspace domains of national security and Indo-Pacific geopolitics. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.