Belavia, Belarus’ national airline, reported on December 3, 2021, that it had reduced its fleet by roughly half after “additional limits to flights to a number of nations were imposed” to the existing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
“The airline was compelled to limit its fleet size as a result of the adoption of restrictions,” Belavia said in a statement, without specifying which planes were grounded.
The airline’s fleet currently consists of 15 planes. The Belarusian flag carrier previously operated a fleet of 29 aircraft. The airline had 14 Boeing 737s, seven Embraer ERJ-195s, five Embraer ERJ-175s, and three 195-E2 aircraft in its fleet.
Belavia’s declaration came after the European Union (EU) levied penalties on the country and its state-owned enterprises for allegedly assisting in the organization of unlawful border crossings into the EU through Belarus.
Belavia can no longer operate in the EU or lease aircraft from EU companies due to the recently imposed restrictions.
Belavia is actively looking for new leasing options outside of the EU, asserting that the firm will “replenish its fleet by purchasing ownership of aircraft and concluding new lease agreements with companies that are not from the EU” by the summer of 2022.
Belavia formerly leased 15 aircraft from a number of leasing businesses operating in the EU and the US, including Air Lease Corporation (ALC), AerCap, DSF Aircraft Leasing, Merx Aviation, and Nordic Aviation Capital, according to Planespotters.net (NAC).