Russia’s federal air transport regulator has disclosed that 658 foreign aircraft have been re-registered in the country in the year-and-a-half to mid-July.

The aircraft span the fleets of 30 Russian airlines, states Rosaviatsia.

Russia’s government has been transferring aircraft to the country’s own registry in response to sanctions imposed as a result of the Ukrainian conflict.

Rosaviatsia argues that the re-registration is being carried out “strictly in accordance” with Russian legislation, and refers to ICAO standards allowing registration transfer.

But such transfer requires de-registration and a large number of foreign aircraft in Russia were already registered in Bermuda. The Bermudan civil aviation authority has previously described the Russian re-registration as illegal.

It has listed 475 Bermudan-registered commercial aircraft which are operated by Russian carriers – among them Aeroflot, Azur Air, Smartavia, Nordwind, Pobeda, Red Wings, S7 Airlines, Rossiya, Ural Airlines – of which 344, as of 27 June, have been provisionally identified as having been given Russian registrations.

Smartavia 737-800-c-Anna Zvereva Creative Commons

Source: Anna Zvereva/Creative Commons

This Smartavia 737-800, here with a Bermudan identity, is among those transferred to the Russian registry

Rosaviatsia insists that work has been undertaken to release aircraft from foreign registries, through purchase by airlines or agreements with lessors.

It claims that 186 aircraft previously listed on foreign registries have so far been transferred, and bear “exclusively Russian registrations”.

Rosaviatsia says the Russian registry has also been reinforced with 132 domestically-produced aircraft – comprising 43 fixed-wing airframes and 89 helicopters – for commercial transport.