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April 20, 2024
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The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has added seven aircraft of Belarus airline Belavia to its list for the apparent violation of US export rules. The Department said on April 14 that its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) identified the seven Boeing 737s for continued operations into Russia. US adds seven Belarus aircraft to sanctions list.

Commercial aircraft owned or operated by carriers from Belarus were added to the sanction list on April 8. BIS has monitored their activities in public sources and identified that a number of commercial aircraft were being “reexported from third countries to Belarus, all of which are owned or controlled by, or under charter or lease to, Belarus or Belarusian nationals, and has listed those aircraft below.”

“New restrictions on Belarusian aircraft were put in place just last Friday (April 8), and less than a week later we’re already telling the world that servicing specific Belarusian planes is a no go,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, Matthew S. Axelrod, is quoted in a media statement of the DoT. “As US export controls continue to ratchet up given Russia’s continued brutal war in Ukraine, we will continue to swiftly and vigorously enforce them.”

Boeings operate also outside Belarus and Russia

The seven Boeings (two 737-300s and five -800s) on the list are all operated by Belavia. According to FlightAware, all seven have been actively operating between the capital of Belarus (Minsk) and various destinations in Russia but also elsewhere. One 737-800 visited Istanbul today, whereas another was in flight returning from Dubai. These aircraft risk being confiscated, but this depends on the cooperation of the local authorities. Both Turkey and the United Arab Emirates haven’t supported sanctions on Russia and Belarus, which has accommodated Russian troops to start their assault on Kyiv from there. It is known that various business jets have been stranded in Dubai as their insurance has expired.

AirInsight identifies that both 737-300s and two of the five 737-800s are leased. One 737-300 is sourced from DSF Aircraft Leasing in Germany, another with ‘World of Tanks’ livery used to be leased from AerCap, while the -800s have been leased from Merx Aviation which is based in New York and Dublin, and from Infinity Transportation in Atlanta. The inclusion of these aircraft on the DoT list means that these lessors also contravene US sanctions. Belavia’s four active Embraer E190s and single E170 aren’t on the list, although they also continue to operate. Following previous sanctions on Belarus, Belavia returned three leased E195-E2s to AerCap in December.  

Including the Belavia aircraft, the DoT list now includes 153 aircraft, with the other 146 all operated or owned by Russian operators. Of these, forty are with Aeroflot, seven with Airbridge Cargo, five with Aviastar, one with Alrosa, seventeen with Azur Air, one with Nordstar, seven with Nordwind, one with Pegas Fly, twenty with Pobeda, eighteen with Rossiya, three with Royal Flight, seven with S7 Airlines, and eighteen with UTair. Many of these have been re-registered to Russian registrations. Also on the list is the Gulfstream G650ER of oligarch Roman Abramovich. 

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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