The Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia, Rosaviatsia has warned of “retaliatory measures” in response to the European Commission’s decision to blacklist 20 Russian airlines, adding the carriers to the EU Air Safety List.
“The decision to include a number of Russian airlines certified by the Federal Air Transport Agency on the so-called ‘black list’ of the European Union testifies to the ongoing policy of discrimination and violation of the provisions of international aviation law, which will inevitably lead to retaliatory measures on the part of the aviation authorities of the Russian Federation in relation to the airlines of the states – EU members,” Rosaviatsia wrote in a statement dated April 11, 2022.
The regulator said that the ban on 21 Russian airlines from operating within the European Union violates the Chicago Convention as well as bilateral agreements and exposes “Europe’s further desire to strengthen the air blockade of Russia”.
However, the agency notes that the latest EU decision does not reflect the technical condition of aircraft or the flight safety of domestic airlines.
“The restrictive measures against Russian airlines do not have any grounds related to the technical condition of the aircraft fleet of Russian air carriers, the maintenance of the airworthiness of these aircraft, the execution of leasing transactions,” the regulator continued.
On April 11, 2022, the European Commission announced the inclusion of 21 Russian airlines to the EU Air Safety List as “serious safety concerns” arose after Russian authorities re-registered foreign-owned aircraft without airworthiness certificates. The move was made following a meeting of aviation safety experts from the EU member states on April 5, 2022, who unanimously approved the decision.
“The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness,” said the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean in a statement. “The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards. […] However, I want to make it crystal-clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics.”
The list includes the three main Russian airlines: flag carrier Aeroflot, Rossiya, and S7 Airlines, as well as Pobeda, UTair, Aurora, Izhavia, Yakutia, UVT Aero, Smartavia, IrAero, Ural Airlines, Alrosa, Nordstar, Rusline, Yamal, Nordwind, IFly, Rusjet, and Aviastar-TU.