Despite the sanctions, some wealthy and powerful Russians are finding ways to keep their personal jets in the air, but the sanctions have significantly limited where the planes can fly.
According to previously unpublished national aircraft registry data through early August reviewed by Reuters, a Boeing linked to Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenko was among at least 50 private jets re-registered as Russian since the February 2022 invasion, according to two senior Russian aviation industry sources , who were not authorized to speak to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity, several of the repatriated private jets were linked to prominent politicians and business figures.
The oligarchs are still flying
Both sources say Yevtushenkov personally used the Boeing-737, which until last year bore the logo of the company he founded, the telecommunications conglomerate AFK Sistema (AFKS.MM), photos can be found on the Jetphotos website.
Yevtushenkov said he would not answer questions about the plane, including whether he was using it. Yevtushenkov formally handed over control of Sistema after Britain imposed sanctions on him last year. He remains the group’s main shareholder.
Russia’s aviation authority Rosaviatsiya and the Ministry of Transport did not respond to requests for comment. There is no suggestion that companies associated with the planes have breached any sanctions in relation to the repatriation or the ongoing flights.
Registering planes in Russia allows them to fly to and from countries that have not imposed a flight ban or where individual travelers are not subject to sanctions, including Turkey and Dubai.
Despite such maneuvers, more than half of Russia’s fleet of private and corporate jets, some 400 planes, are stranded abroad or sold, the same source estimates, based on his extensive knowledge of the sector.
The inventory shows that the total number of Russian-flagged business jets now stands at 145, up from 97 at the beginning of March 2022.