Belavia, the Belarus flag carrier, has been operating while restricted by sanctions for more than two years but remains financially stable, according to its CEO.
The airline was hit by sanctions stemming from the actions of the Minsk Government in 2021, including the forced landing of a Ryanair jet, which were later extended when President Lukashenko supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The European Union banned Russian and Belarusian planes from its airspace, which severely restricted Bealvia’s route options. The airline has pivoted heavily towards former Soviet states and the Middle East.
The anti-war sanctions have restricted trade with companies in Russia and Belarus, which has created stock issues for Belavia.
Although the airline operates Boeing and Embraer jets, sanctions mean the companies have stopped servicing and parts supplies. This has both increased costs for the airline and forced it to look elsewhere for its next fleet upgrade.
Belavia CEO Igor Cherginets said: “We are preparing agreements with United Aircraft Corporation for the purchase of MS-21 and Superjet New.”
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“I very much hope that this will be the case and that we can expand the airline’s fleet,” he added.
But before the renewal can be finalised, spares and repair costs have escalated.
“Our spending on components has practically tripled,” Cherginets explained.
Despite the increased costs and restrained income from fewer flight operations, Cherginets told a press conference in Minsk the airline is not losing money.
“We work profitably and, unlike Russian companies, do not receive any subsidies,” he told local media.