How Sanctions On Russia Can Affect Aeroflot’s Flights To Maldives Impacting Tourist Arrivals
As Ukraine Russia conflict escalates many countries have implemented sanctions on Russia in protest.
The year 2021 saw the arrival of more than 222,000 tourists from Russia to the Maldives which is second only behind India and the Russian carrier Aeroflot carried the fourth-highest number of passengers to the Maldives.
In January 2022 alone Maldives welcomed an incredible 20,000 Russian tourists.
As sanctions against Russia are intensifying with aviation being a major component affected, this can result in a negative impact on tourists arrivals to the Maldives.
The United States of America, Canada and the European Nation has since banned Russian aeroplanes from entering their airspace.
Following the airspace ban, Aeroflot which operates daily flights to the Maldives has said the airline would cancel flights to all European nations until further notice.
Furthermore, Russia also banned airlines from 36 countries from operating in Russian airspace.
As much of the countries that banned Russian airlines lies in the west, Aeroflot’s route to the Maldives remains unaffected although there were minor changes to the normal route.
In the last few days Aeroflot operated a more direct route to the Maldives through Iran and the Arabian Sea however from 24th February the carrier flew further east and flew through Kazakhstan before continuing directly to the Maldives.
This change in routing increases flight time which may result in an increase in ticket costs due to extra fuel usage however it’s less likely to cause a major abrupt in passenger demand however there’s another major problem that can result in a complete halt in flights.
Termination of airplane lease and Airbus and Boeing’s Support Ban.
The European Union's new regulations on required aeroplane lessors to terminate their contracts in Russia by March 28.
According to reports more than half of the active commercial aeroplanes in Russia are leased.
Furthermore, the two giant aeroplane manufacturers Airbus and Boeing have stopped providing spare parts and support to Russian Carriers which affects 70% of aeroplanes owned by different carriers in the country.
Aeroflot’s fleet alone consists of 120 Airbus 59 Boeing jet aeroplanes in addition to the 10 Russian made Sukhoi jets.
The carrier primarily operates its Boeing 777-300ER to the Maldives and the airline may not be able to operate the aircraft without support from the plane's manufacturer.
Although it is unclear how many spare parts are stored and available for Aeroflot which the airline can use to keep the operations afloat.
The unaffected Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 with a range capacity of about 4,500km will not be able to operate direct flights from Moscow to Male’.
There are talks about a second round of ceasefire but Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said Moscow would press on until “the end” sighting there’s isn’t an end in the conflict any time soon.
Time can only tell the drastic impact of the conflict and its effect to the tourism industry in the Maldives which so far does not appear to be pleasant.