Belarusian national airline Belavia announced it has downsized its fleet by nearly half after “further restrictions to flights to a number of countries were added” to the existing restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the company stated on December 3, 2021.
“In connection with the introduction of restrictions, the airline was forced to reduce its fleet size,” Belavia announced in a statement without disclosing which aircraft have been grounded.
Currently, the airline’s fleet consists of 15 aircraft. Previously, Belarusian flag carrier had a total of 29 aircraft in its fleet. The airline’s fleet comprised 14 Boeing 737s, seven Embraer ERJ-195, five Embraer ERJ-175s, and three 195-E2 aircraft.
Belavia’s announcement came as the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on the country and its state-run companies that have allegedly helped to organize the illegal border crossings through Belarus to the EU.
The recently imposed sanctions mean that Belavia can no longer operate in the EU as well as lease aircraft from EU companies.
Thus, Belavia currently looks for new leasing opportunities outside the EU, stating that by the summer of 2022 the company will “replenish its fleet by acquiring ownership of aircraft and conclude new leasing agreements with companies that are not from the EU.”
According to Planespotters.net, Belavia previously leased 15 aircraft from various leasing companies based in the EU and the United States: Air Lease Corportation (ALC), AerCap, DSF Aircraft Leasing, Merx Aviation, and Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC).