Aeroflot, Azur Air Resume Sri Lanka Flights
Airlines Routes

Aeroflot, Azur Air Resume Sri Lanka Flights

DALLAS – Aeroflot (SU) has announced that from October 9, 2022, flights between Moscow (SVO) and Colombo will resume after the lifting of the detention of Russian aircraft by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Russian carrier was forced to interrupt its operations on June 4. This followed the grounding of an SU aircraft at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) five months ago due to rising concerns over the operational safety of their fleet.

The resumed route will be flown four times a week with SU’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft, departing Moscow at 23:20 local time and arriving at CMB at 10:50 local time as SU288. The returning flights will depart CMB at 12:50 and arrive back at SVO at 19:30 local time.

Azur Air Boeing 767-300ER. Photo: Azur Air

According to the Embassy of Russia in Sri Lanka, Azur Air Russia (ZF) will also be granted the operation of four single charter flights in November between the two capitals. This, along with Aeroflot’s relaunch, “will increase the tourist inflow from Russia to Sri Lanka significantly”, according to Tourism Minister Harin Fernando, who gave special thanks to the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka and its counterpart in Russia.

Aeroflot’s Struggling Situation

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and following various sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union, the US, and many international organizations such as the United Nations, commercial aviation in Russia has been turned upside down.

This has forced the nation’s airlines to use their aircraft for spare parts and train their pilots to perform maintenance work on their aircraft.

While Aeroflot fights for survival due to the lack of spare parts in Russia, undelivered Airbus A350s stay grounded in Toulouse waiting for a different customer to take them up. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Additionally, after Vladimir Putin’s order to convert all leased aircraft to Russian registrations, lessors have seen this as a theft of their fleets.

Because of that, any Russian-operated aircraft that once belonged to an aircraft leasing company will most likely be confiscated once it leaves the Russian border. This significantly limits the international operating capability of Russian carriers, especially those only operating leased aircraft, which can only stick to national flights to break even at the end of the year.

Featured image: Aeroflot Airbus A330-300 (VQ-BMX). Photo: Davide Calabresi/Airways

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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