The Turkish government stops the refueling of Russian planes under pressure from the USA. It is now becoming more difficult for the Russian airlines “Aeroflot”, “S7” and Co. to fly to the country.
The USA has been putting pressure on NATO partner Turkey since the beginning of the year. Joe Biden’s government is displeased that Russian planes are still allowed to land in Antalya or Istanbul. Since the beginning of the war, Turkey has become an important transit and travel destination for Russians. Around a quarter of international flights from Russia in 2022 went to destinations in the country.
This week, the United States government followed suit. The Bureau of Industry and Security, which is responsible for national security in trade, again demanded sanctions from Turkey. And the government in Ankara is now complying with the request. As of now, it is more difficult for Russian airlines to get to Turkey.
Turkey gives in to US pressure and halts refueling of Russian planes
The country does not ban Russian aircraft from flying. But private, cargo, charter or foreign-made planes that contain more than 25 percent US parts are no longer refueled in Turkey when flying to Russia and Belarus. The country is an ally of Russia.
The Airporthaber portal wrote that planes operated by Russian airlines were no longer being refueled at the beginning of the week. Other related services are also no longer permitted. The sanctions do not necessarily have to only affect Boeing jets, since Airbus aircraft also contain many American components.
Russian airlines refuel more fuel to get out of Turkey
As Airporthaber further writes, some Russian airlines are therefore refueling more fuel in order to get out of Turkey again. To do this, they make a refueling stop in Sochi. The sanctions affect Aeroflot, Utair, Rossiya, S7, Fly Pegas and Yamal aircraft. Belavia is affected from Belarus.
Aeroflot is apparently concerned with 15 sanctioned aircraft, all of which are Boeing 737-800. The planes with the registration numbers RA-73098, RA-73094 or RA-73123 are affected. At S7, five Boeing 737-800s are affected, including those with registration number RA-73669. Rossiya has two Boeing 737-800s, Pegas Fly has a 777-200, Azur Air has a 767-300, Utair has four 737-800s and Yamal has two Airbus A321s. Apparently, a Boeing 747 operated by the Iranian Mahan Air is also being sanctioned.
Flights from Russia to Turkey have more than tripled since the start of the war
The Russian newspaper Kommersant also reports that there are problems with the refueling of some Russian airline planes in Turkey. Sources tell the newspaper that they hope to solve the problem quickly because the flights are economically important for both sides. Russians are the most important group for the Turkish tourism industry.
While most international flights were grounded in March following the invasion of Ukraine, the number of flights from Russia to Turkey tripled after the war began. Aeroflot resumed service to Turkey in May, just two months after the invasion. The second largest Russian airline “S7” as well as “Azur Air”, “Utair” and the Belarusian “Belavia” flew to Turkey again last year – also with Boeing machines.
This article was written by Laura Frommberg