Abramovich’s 787 Dreamliner targeted by US sanctions

Stephan Tournay

The United States Department of Commerce added the private Boeing 787 Dreamliner of Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, former owner of the Chelsea football club, to the list of aircraft in likely violation of the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR). 

It means the Dreamliner is restricted from receiving refueling, aircraft spare parts, maintenance, or repair services unless given permission by the US government. It was last seen flying from Moscow-Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) to Dubai World Central International Airport (DWC) on March 4, 2022, according to flightradar24 data.  

“Today’s actions are a reminder to parties in Russia as well as throughout the rest of the world that U.S. legal authorities are substantial, far-reaching, and have a meaningful impact on global operations by parties found to be in violation of US law,” warned US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod in a statement

On April 5, 2022, Aruba’s Transport Minister Ursell Arends announced that the Dreamliner, along with ten other Russian-owned aircraft, would be removed from the Aruban register. 

The lavish aircraft, registered P4-BDL, is the second plane owned by Abramovich to be found in violation of US export controls. In March 2022, a Gulfstream G650 registered LX-RAY owned by the billionaire was also added to the list. 

As of May 23, 2022, the list also includes 147 Boeing airliners operated by Russian air carriers such as Aeroflot, Azur Air, UTair, and Rossiya, and 7 aircraft operated by Belarusian state carrier Belavia. The sanctions were imposed in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has received support from Belarus. 

“By preventing these aircraft from receiving any service, including from abroad, international flights from Belarus or Russia on these aircraft are effectively grounded,” explained the Bureau of Industry and Security. 


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