Business aircraft operators are likely to face serious difficulties in conducting their flights to and from Russia this year due to a significant tightening of requirements implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sources at Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency have told AIN that each business aviation flight performed in Russia now needs to be coordinated with domestic aviation authorities and they are, in essence, now being equated with scheduled airline flights.
The use of such an approach has already resulted in serious difficulties for business operators in Russia during their planning of flights into and out of the country in recent days. Some operators reportedly had to cancel planned flights, which puts additional pressure on an industry already reeling from the Covid-19 crisis. So far, the number of domestic business aviation flights in Russia has already declined by about 25 year-over-year, while international flights have plummeted by 70 percent.
On the positive side, some Russian charter operators said they have seen some influx of new customers due to fear of possible infection and schedule cuts at the airlines.