EU investigates Aeroflot Boeing 777 deal

The European Commission (EC) has launched an investigation into claims Aeroflot has purchased ten Boeing 777-300ERs from an undisclosed Irish lessor. 

The sale of aircraft to Russian-based companies has been subject to a strict EU embargo since early last year, imposed as part of its wider-reaching sanctions against Russia. However, Aeroflot confirmed on December 30 it had acquired the aircraft outright, having previously operated them on lease, signalling a potential breach of these restrictions.

The carrier added the ten widebodies have been flown since 2013/14 under a finance lease deal, under which it would receive ownership once the balance had been paid but, according to Irish weekly newspaper The Business Post, the announcement has prompted the EC to write to the Irish Government seeking further details about the transaction. 

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