The Russian government decided to revoke all international travel restrictions that were placed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision is part of Russia’s “anti-crisis measures” and was announced by the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on April 4.
“The number of cases is going down, which means, it is time to increase the number of destinations that are available for our Russian airlines,” Mishustin is quoted by Russian press agency Interfax. “Now they can fly to 15 countries without restrictions, including the states of EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union – AeroTime), Qatar, Mexico, and some others.” “And now we will renew the connections to 52 countries, including Argentina, India, China, SAR and other countries that are friendly to us,” Mishustin added.
The full list of countries also includes Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Myanmar, Oman and others. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is also included in the list.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, numerous countries imposed sanctions that had a heavy impact on the Russian aviation. By mid-March, the number of countries Russian airlines flew to shrunk to less than 10.
It is unlikely that Russian airlines will be able to fly to all 52 listed countries, as their fleet was reduced to mostly medium-range Sukhoi SSJ-100s, as well as several Airbus and Boeing jets. The rest of the aircraft – including Russia’s almost entire fleet of wide-body long-range aircraft – cannot fly abroad because of the risk of being confiscated by their lessors.