Russian illegal flights to the occupied Crimea in February 2017 and database


Olha KORBUT
Crimean Department of Maidan of Foreign Affairs, Kyiv

Translated by Tetyana PUCHKOVA

The BSNews and Maidan of Foreign Affairs monitoring group has compared the number of illegal flights by the Russian airlines to the occupied Crimea in February 2017 with that in the corresponding months of 2015 and 2016.

Airbus A320-214. Russian Airlines Aeroflot/Rossiya VP-BME. Photo: Alexey Ereshko, planespotters

Over the three years of occupation, the number of airlines that used to fly to the Simferopol airport, dropped from 11 in 2015 to 12 in 2016 and 9 in February 2017. In other words, the number of airlines that fly to Crimea has decreased.

As of February 2017, the following Russian airlines flights flew to the occupied Crimea:

Aeroflot, Russia, Ural Airlines, VIM-Avia, Globus, Red Wings, Ikar(Pegas), Nordwind Airlines, UVT.

The graph below shows the reduction in flights in 2017 comparing to the 2015-2016. 

Number of flights to occupied Crimea in 2015-2017

The main destination of the flights has not changed in the three years of occupation – it is predominantly Moscow, while St. Petersburg ranks second.

The destinations also include Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov, Nizhniy Novgorod and Sochi.

Russian airline uses these aircrafts also to operate passenger air travel to the airports of the EU and some non-EU countries that have recognized the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia at the UN General Assembly March 27, 2014.

The monitoring group presents the numbers of these aircrafts (Ferbuary 2017) in Table 1 below.

Aircrafts of the Russian airlines that have been
continuously flying to the occupied Crimea,
while also flying to the European airports

Table 1.

Aircraft #

Country of registry

Aircraft

Flight #

Airlines

Route to/from SIP

Routes to EU

VQ-BUF

Bermuda

Boeing 737-8GJ

SU6144

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
14:05
31.01.2016

Larnaca (Cyprus)-MOW
FV5702
23:46 14.02.2017

VQ-BAU

Bermuda

A319-111

SU6893

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-LED
20:00
31.01.2016

LED-Berlin (Germany)
SU6641
10:10 11.02.2017

LED-Dusseldorf (Germany)
SU6643
11:01 15.02.2017

RA-89058

Russia

Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B

SU2801

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-Sochi
09:30
30.01.2016

Oslo(Norway)-MOW
SU2535
04:11 08.02.2017

MOW-Riga (Latvia)
SU2100
14:31 09.02.2017

Tallinn(Estonia)-MOW
SU2115
23:24 09.02.2017

VP-BLL

Bermuda

Airbus A320-214

SU1637

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
11:25
25.01.2016

MOW-Riga (Latvia)
SU2102
18:58 08.02.2017

MOW-Chisinau (Moldova)
SU1844
00:29 09.02.2017

VP-BBU

Bermuda

Airbus
A319-112

SU6895

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-LED
16.02.2017 15:37

FV5402 Norwich(UK)-Tallinn (Estonia)
10.02.2017 02:39

FV5402 Tallinn(Estonia)-LED
11.02.2017 08:52

VP-BLR

Bermuda

Airbus
A320-214

SU1637

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
15.02.2017 11:25

SU2469 Budapest (Hungary)-MOW
15.02.2017 03:49

SU2696 MOW-Istanbul (Turkey)
14.02.2017 04:09

SU2355 Vienna (Austria)-MOW
10.02.2017 04:40

SU2342 MOW-Hannover (Germany)
09.02.2017 13:20

VP-BBT

Bermuda

Airbus
A319-112

SU6891
SU6893

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
16.02.2017 16:18

SIP-LED
11.02.2017 23:09

SU6654 Hamburg-LED
16.02.2017 15:02

VP-BME

Bermuda

Airbus A320-214

SU1625

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
14.02.2017 21:05

SU2423 Venice (Italy)-MOW
15.02.2017 04:02

SU2301 Zurich (Switzerland)-MOW
15.02.2017 18:36

SU2437 Dusseldorf (Germany)-MOW
14.02.2017 11:13

SU2682 MOW-Riga (Latvia)
13.02.2017 10:08

SU2306 MOW-Frankfurt (Germany)
11.03.2017 09:48

SU2356 MOW-Vienna (Austria)
09.02.2017 14:54

VP-BTZ

Bermuda

А320-214

U62832

Ural Airlines

SIP-MOW
13:05 25.01.2016

MOW-Larnaca
(Cyprus)
U67029
10:10 07.01.2017

MOW-Munich
(Germany)
U6799
11:30 08.01.2017

Munich-Yekaterinburg
U67010
20:15 09.01.2017

VP-BZA

Bermuda

Boeing 737-8LJ

SU1625

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
11.02.2017 18:55

SU2030 MOW-Budapest(Hungary)
16.02.2017 11:20

SU2307 Frankfurt(Germany)-MOW
13.02.2017 11:15

SU2169 Brussels(Belgium)-MOW
12.02.2017 12:25

VP-BWE

Bermuda

A320-214

SU1625

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW
12.02.2017 18:55

SU2155 Duffeldorf(Germany)-MOW
16.02.2017 17:09

SU2471 Nice(Italy)-MOW
13.02.2017 13:10

SU2409 Rome(Italy)-MOW
11.02.2017 17:25

SU2329 Munich(Germany)-MOW
09.02.2017 17:05

VP-BGR

Bermuda

Boeing 737-8LJ

SU6148

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW 21:45
24.01.2016

MOW-Antalya
(Turkey)
FV5859
10:16 09.01.2017

MOW-Prague (CZ)
FV5739
09:04 10.01.2017

VP-BJA

Bermuda

A320-214

SU1625

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-MOW 17:55 20.01.2016

Oslo-MOW (Oslo)
SU2535
23:40 06.01.2017

Berlin-MOW
(Germany) SU2319
13:50 07.01.2017

Stockholm-MOW
(Sweden)
SU2387
00:55 08.01.2017

Frankfurt-MOW (Germany)
SU2303
17:40 09.01.2017
Prague(CZ)-MOW
SU2017
05:31 10.02.2017
Stockholm(Sweden)-MOW
SU2211
16:45 09.02.2017

VQ-BAS

Bermuda

А319-111

SU6134

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-Rostov 16:30
18.01.2016

LED-Hamburg
(Germany)
SU6653
09:10 08.01.2017

LED-Tel-Aviv (Israel)
SU6627
09:30 12.01.2017

Vienna(Austria)-LED
SU6604
15:27 09.02.2017

VQ-BAR

Bermuda

А319-111

SU6135

Aeroflot / Russia

SIP-KRR
12:40 16.01.2016

LED-Hamburg (Germany)
SU6654 09:10 14.11.2016

LED-Prague (CR)
SU6621 11:10 11.11.2016


The vast majority of these aircrafts are manufactures by Airbus [1] and Boeing [2]. These companies continue the maintenance of these aircrafts that also fly to the airports of the European countries and other countries that have officially recognized the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Table №2 lists the new orders by the airlines that they expect to be fulfilled by the manufacturers in the next few years.

The fleet and the orders of the bankrupt carriers, such as Transaero (discontinued activities on October 26, 2015), have been transferred to Aeroflot, the leader of the Russian air transportation and illegal flights to the occupied Crimea, as well as its subsidiaries and the S7 Group holding (S7 Airlines / Globus).

On August 24, 2016 Aeroflot has received the first two Airbus A321 aircrafts earlier ordered by the bankrupt carrier Transaero.

The fleet of the Donavia and Orenburg Airlines that used to fly to the occupied Crimea but in March 2016 stopped doing so under their names and integrated into the Rossia airline, has come under the control of the latter. Rossia itself is part of the Aeroflot group.

As of November 2016, the Russian airlines-violators offending fly to the airport of Simferopol on the boards of Airbus and Boeing, also owning aircrafts by Bombardier and Embraer.

[1] Aibus - one of the largest aircraft building companies headquartered in Toulouse, France. Production includes passenger, freight and military transport aircrafts. Production is concentrated in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

[2] Boeing - one of the two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, headquartered in Chicago, USA. Production includes passenger, freight and military transport aircrafts and space technology.

Among the companies providing leasing services for the vehicles of the Russian Ural Airlines and S7 Airlines / Globus are: the ACG (Aviation Capital Group) headquartered in the US, the ILFC (International Lease Finance Corporation) that in 2014 was absorbed by the Dutch AerCap (headquartered in Amsterdam) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) headquartered in Los Angeles, USA.


NOTE:

In December 2014 the administration of President Barack Obama has adopted a number of decisions on sanctions for any action in the occupied Crimea.

In April of that same year, in accordance with the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation, Eurocontrol (European Organization for Safety of Air Navigation), banned European airlines from fying to the Russia-occupied Crimea and in Sevastopol. [1].

Ukraine has officially accused [2] Russia of violating the multilateral and bilateral international agreements and the provisions of the European Air Navigation Plan, as well as of ignoring the established borders of the Flight Information Regions (FIR) [3].

The Air Navigation Services in the sky over the Crimean Peninsula are under the Ukrainian jurisdiction, but because of Russia's annexation of the Crimea Autonomous Republic, had to move the dispatch center from Simferopol to Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa.

However, due to the inability of the state to guarantee the security of Ukraine flights over the occupied territories, in March 2014, it was decided to close the Simferopol and Belbek airports and lower airspace and restrict movement in the Simferopol flight information region.

At the same time, Ukraine continues to service the Black Sea FIR within its control.

In April 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) identified Russia's actions towards seizing control of the airspace of Crimea and the Black Sea that belong to the Ukrainian FIR as illegal [4].

 

[1] The prohibition of flights to the occupied Crimea for European airlines: http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/198796.html

[2] Information from the state enterprise AviaRukh of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine: http://uksatse.ua/index.php?act=Part&CODE=247&id=264

[3] The FIR (Flight Information Region) --  a specified region of airspace in which a flight information service and an alerting service (ALRS) are provided.

[4] The 16.04.2014 publication in the online edition of the Tyzhden magazine: http://tyzhden.ua/News/107719

 

* * *

For the last two and a half years, the BSNews and Maidan of Foreign Affairs monitoring group has been conducting daily monitoring of the illegal flights to the occupied Crimea with further publications in the media on the airlines offenders.

* * *

The investigation is conducted within the project The International Sanctions Over the Annexation of  Crimea: Efficiency and Effect, Adherence and Circumvention Techniques, made possible by the support of the Media Development Fund of the US Embassy in Ukraine. The opinions of the authors do not necessarily coincide with the official position of the US government.

* * *

The monitoring of the violations of the international sanctions against Russia and the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea is supported by the European Program Initiative of the Renaissance International Foundation. The position of Renaissance International Foundation may not reflect the opinion of the authors.



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