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Russia’s largest cargo airline group grounds all its Boeing jets

The largest air cargo group in Russia, Volga-Dnepr Group (VDG), announced today that it had halted operations of two of its subsidiaries – AirBridgeCargo and Atran – that use 18 Boeing 747 and 6 Boeing 737 aircraft.

According to the group, the flights of all of its Boeing jets have been suspended due to Westen sanctions imposed on Russia over its aggression in Ukraine and a decision by Bermuda’s Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) to terminate the aircraft safety certificates.

“The management of Volga Dnepr has made a conscious decision to find a possible solution together with partners and state regulators,” VDG statement said.

Western sanctions have cut off the supply of most aircraft and parts to Russia. The United States and Europe have closed their airspace to Russian airlines, and Moscow has responded by imposing the same measure on them.

Volga-Dnepr Group will continue to fly its Russian-made cargo jets that include An-124 and Il-76 cargo aircraft.

Volga-Dnepr Group is a Russian airline holding firm headquartered in Moscow. It is a world leader in the global market for the movement of oversize, unique and heavy air cargo. The group’s core activities are charter cargo operations using Antonov An-124 and IL-76TD-90VD heavy transporters and scheduled cargo operations using Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 freighters.

Russia has passed a law allowing the country’s airlines to place aircraft leased from foreign companies on Russia’s aircraft register – a maneuver that is likely to get Western lessors worrying about a mass default involving hundreds of planes.

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