More than three years after the total stoppage of the Boeing 737 MAX around the world, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) authorized the return of its flights, placing itself as one of the last countries in the world to decide for the release. The curious thing, however, is that the measure is limited to friendly countries only and, therefore, Belavia’s airline Belavia is the sole beneficiary of the decision.
Unlike other countries, Russia has not issued its own statement on the lifting of locks for the model. Instead, the news was given by the Belarusian Ministry of Transport and Communications and later confirmed by the Russian state news agency TASS.
Belavia has only one Belavia Boeing 737 MAX, registered EW-528PA (msn 43344), which has already been seen operating eastbound flights. The aircraft has been banned from Europe, like all other Belarusian flights, since the Belarusian airline forced the diversion of a Ryanair flight in order to arrest an opponent in early 2021.
The only Russian company with MAX jets in its fleet is S7 Airlines, which has two of them. However, the planes are not flying. They belong to two companies leasing and must be returned in light of the sanctions placed by the West on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. The return, in turn, depends on approval from the Russian government.