Turkey warns of risks of servicing Russian aircraft

2 February, 12:21 PM
Turkey may refuse to service Aeroflot airliners (Photo:Maxim Shemetov / Reuters)

Turkey may refuse to service Aeroflot airliners (Photo:Maxim Shemetov / Reuters)

Turkey's largest provider of airport ground handling services, Havaş, has warned of problems with the maintenance of Boeing airliners operated by Russian airlines, Russian media outlet RBC reported, citing a letter that Havaş CEO Mete Erna sent to contractors on Jan. 31.

Earlier, NV reported that U.S. officials are putting pressure on Turkey to ban Russian airlines from flying in and out of the country on American-made aircraft.

Erna warns that it may stop accepting approximately 170 Boeing aircraft in the fleets of airlines from Russia, Belarus, Iran, and sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Airbus-made aircraft may also fall under this cessation of service, he added. Most of the listed aircraft in the letter belong to Russian national aviation carrier Aeroflot. There were also aircraft from Belarus' Belavia and Iran's Iran Air and Mahan Air.

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In addition to planes from various airlines, the Havaş list also includes Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Gulfstream G650 business jets. According to the company, they belong to the sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, though a representative of Abramovich told RBC that the oligarch does not have any aircraft in Turkey.

Havaş is owned by TAV Airports, the leading operator of Turkish airports. This company operates 90 airports in 29 countries and serves aircraft at the airports of Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, and others.

Russian airlines, due to sanctions and other restrictive measures, are able to fly to only eight countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, the UAE, and Uzbekistan.

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