Bermuda and Ireland suspend airworthiness approval of Russian-leased aircraft

The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority and the Irish Civil Aviation Authority have decided to suspend the Certificates of Airworthiness (CoA) of aircraft in their registers that are leased to Russian airlines. In total, Bermuda suspended 723 aircraft, while Ireland revoked the CoA of 34 aircraft. The suspension means Russian airlines can't operate the aircraft legally anymore.

The suspension of the CoAs is part of the expanding sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Previously, we already reported that (western) leasing companies were forced to cancel lease-contracts and recover their aircraft by 28 March.

To counter-act the suspension, the Russian government has issued an emergency-law that allows Russian airlines to transfer impacted aircraft to the Russian civil aviation register, enabling the airlines to continue to operate the aircraft, albeit only domestic.

Despite this new law nationalizing aircraft, the future for Russian aviation looks bleak as the airline's don't have access to spare parts, which means the airlines will not be able to continue to operate their aircraft. It looks, however, also very bleak for the lessors that are most likely unable to recover the aircraft from Russia, meaning that they can all be considered as potential losses. Especially so, if Russian airlines were to conduct maintenance with unregistered spare-parts.

One of the first Russian airlines to close shop due to all of this is Royal Flight, which has announced it has suspended all operations indefinitely. The airline operated a fleet of ten aircraft consisting of one B737-800, one B737-900ER, four B757-200s, two B767-300ERs and two B777-300ERs.

Another airline that has ceased all operations is Artran, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group. The cargo airline, operating three B737-400SFs and six B737-800BCFs has said the lack of spare-parts made it impossible to continue to fly.

Photo by Anton Homma.

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