In Sri Lanka, the first Aeroflot Airbus A330 aircraft was arrested yesterday, despite the fact that the Sri Lankan authorities in March 2022 provided guarantees to Russian airlines regarding the non-detention of aircraft of Russian airlines (see photo at the bottom of the article).
According to FlightRadar, an Aeroflot aircraft with Russian registration number RA-73702 (Bermuda VQ-BMY) has been standing at Colombo International Airport since June 2, 2022 (from 7:40 Moscow time), this aircraft arrived on flight SU288 from Sheremetyevo.
The High Commercial Court of Colombo upheld the complaint of a leasing company from Ireland against the Russian Aeroflot and banned the Airbus A330 aircraft from leaving the country until June 16. This is with reference to the court decision reports the local newspaper News First.
According to News First, Ireland's Celestial Aviation Trading Limited filed a complaint demanding that Aeroflot's aircraft be banned from leaving Sri Lanka. According to the publication, the lessor insists that he has entered into a settlement agreement with Aeroflot, and therefore demanded a ban.
The RA-73702 aircraft was not among the eight A330s that Aeroflot bought earlier, as it is under operating lease. The owner of this board is the leasing company GECAS. He is listed in the Bermuda registry and, accordingly, has a dual registration. At the same time, eight A330s purchased by Aeroflot were excluded from the register by the Bermuda authorities. Aeroflot operates international flights on them.
Two of the four A330 aircraft that Aeroflot did not buy back, including the arrested one, have already flown flights to Sri Lanka - six times since mid-May 2022, the seventh was completed today. They also fly to Kyrgyzstan, since the authorities of Kyrgyzstan, along with Sri Lanka, have given guarantees that the planes of Russian airlines will not be arrested at the airports of Kyrgyzstan.
We could not find any information about the arrest of Russian airlines in China, but it is likely that Russian airlines after this case of the arrest of an Aeroflot aircraft in Sri Lanka will take less risks and reduce the number of flights abroad for former leased aircraft with dual registration.
In order to avoid such arrests of aircraft of Russian airlines in the future, either only Russian-made aircraft or foreign-made aircraft completely purchased from leasing can be produced abroad in the future, but such aircraft are an insignificant part of the total number of aircraft that previously operated foreign flights from Russia, therefore, a decrease in the number of flights from Russia abroad is a likely way to resolve this issue in the near future.
But a decrease in the number of flights in the presence of highly inelastic demand for air travel from Russia to abroad can lead to higher airfare prices.