I read in an interesting article today on FlyingMag.com. The article suggests that AirBridgeCargo, a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Group violated US sanctions by relocating their 747 fleet back to Russia. I did some digging to figure out where each aircraft in the fleet was, the date that it last made a flight originating outside Russia, and the departure & arrival airports. Let’s dig in.
4240e7/VP-BIM: This is a 747 that hasn’t flown in a while. It flew from Hong Kong to Belgium on 2/10/22 and from Dubai to Belgium on 2/11/22.
424467/VQ-BAO: This is a 777 that has flown a lot, mostly staying in Russia. The last flight it made that originated outside of Russia was on 2/26/22 from Incheon, South Korea back towards Moscow.
4240b6/VP-BIG: This 747 returned to Russia from Hong Kong on 2/27/22.
4240e6/VP-BIK: This 747 has been in Russia for a while. The last flight originating outside of Russia was on 2/27/22 from Seoul & Hong Kong.
43beb2/VP-BIN: This is a 747 that has been in Russia for a while as well. It has done some loops between Amsterdam & Moscow on 2/26 and Milan & Moscow on 2/27. It appears the plane has been in Moscow since 3/6.
42431b/VQ-BBP: This is a 747 that returned to Russia from Beijing on 3/1/22.
424379/VP-BBY: Here’s another 747 that flew from Hong Kong to Manama, Bahrain on 3/3/22 before heading back to Moscow.
42435f/VP-BJS: This 747 has flown more than the others. It flew on 3/4/22 from Hong Kong to Dubai to Moscow; then on 3/5/22 it flew from Moscow to Kazakhstan and back to Moscow on 3/7/22.
42431a/VP-BBL: This 747 returned to Russia from Dubai on 3/5/22.
4243d0/VQ-BVR: Another 747 that returned from Hong Kong to Russia on 3/5/22.
4249ea/VQ-BLQ: A 747 that returned to Moscow from Hong Kong on 3/5/22.
4243ff/VQ-BFU: A 747 that returned to Russia from Dubai on 3/6/22.
424563/VQ-BRH: Here’s a 747 that returned to Russia from Kazakhstan & Manama on 3/8/22.
4245fb/VQ-BLR: This 747 returned to Russia from Hong Kong with a layover in Dubai on 3/8/22. Additionally, it flew on 3/11/22 eastbound out of Moscow but turned around near Barabinsk.
424564/VQ-BRJ: This 747 left Hong Kong for Moscow on 3/12/22.
424970/VQ-BGZ: This 747 returned to Russia from Tokyo & South Korea on 3/12/22.
4243fe/VQ-BFE: This 747 appears to still be on the ground in Hong Kong as of 3/19.
I’m not a foreign policy expert myself, but I would think that with these dates, AirBridgeCargo did indeed violate sanctions.