Globus Airlines, a subsidiary of S7 Group, can now return two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to foreign lessors after receiving permission from the Russian government.
According to a document released by the Ministry of Transport, the transfer of the two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, registered as VQ-BGV and VQ-BGW, can be conducted via a third-party nation, reported to be Turkey, until December 31, 2022.
The carrier has not been able to operate the aircraft due to sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
The 737 MAX 8 registered VQ-BGV was leased from US-based lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG), while the aircraft with registration number VQ-BGW was leased from another US-based lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC).
Both aircraft joined the airline’s fleet in 2018 and have been in storage since March 2019 when civil aviation authorities across the world grounded the controversial aircraft type following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
S7 Group was Russia’s only carrier to have Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet. Since the grounding in March 2019, the Siberian-based carrier has not redeployed its MAX aircraft to commercial service.
The Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev told Russian news agency TASS that the airline is even more “deprived of the opportunity to receive spare parts and support for these new aircraft”.
S7 Group ordered a total of 10 737 MAX aircraft but ended up taking delivery of two.
In July 2021, the Federal Air Transport Agency recertified the use of Boeing 737 MAX for commercial services in Russia, becoming one of the last major countries to do so.
The aircraft was allowed to fly in the US in November 2020 and in the EU in January 2021. Other countries followed soon after, although China, a major market for Boeing, has yet to lift its grounding.