Belavia
Belavia logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
B2 BRU BELAVIA
Founded5 March 1996
HubsMinsk National Airport
Frequent-flyer programBelavia Leader
Fleet size13
Destinations26[1]
Parent companyGovernment of Belarus
HeadquartersMinsk, Belarus
Key peopleIgor Nikolaevich Cherginets, Director-general
Websitebelavia.by

Belavia, formally Belavia Belarusian Airlines (Belarusian: ААТ «Авіякампанія «Белавія»; Russian: ОАО «Авиакомпания «Белавиа»), is the flag carrier and national airline of Belarus, headquartered in Minsk.[2] The state-owned company had, as of 2007, 1,017 employees.[3] Belavia serves a network of routes between Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as some Middle East destinations from its base at Minsk National Airport.[3]

Following the Ryanair Flight 4978 incident on 23 May 2021, the airline has been banned from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ukraine and Serbia.

History

Early years

Belavia's previous logo (used until 2016)
Belavia's previous logo (used until 2016)
Belavia's head office in Minsk.
Belavia's head office in Minsk.
Belavia Embraer 195 in the airline's former livery.
Belavia Embraer 195 in the airline's former livery.

On 7 November 1933, the first Belarusian air terminal opened in Minsk. In the next spring, 3 Po-2 aircraft landed in Minsk. They became the first aircraft of the Belarusian air fleet. In 1936 the first regular air route between Minsk and Moscow was established. In the summer of 1940, the Belarusian civil aviation group was officially founded.

Development since the 2000s

Between 2003 and 2009, the airline has seen its passenger numbers double and in 2009 handled just under 700,000 customers.[4]

Three leased Bombardier CRJ 100 aircraft were introduced on regional services from Minsk. The first one was delivered in February 2007, with the other two later in 2007. They directly replaced the aging Antonov An-24 and Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft.[5] It was looking to lease two Bombardier CRJ-700s in 2010.[6] Belavia had also planned to retire its remaining Tupolev Tu-154Ms by 2011 following the retirement of its last Tupolev Tu-134 in summer 2009 which was replaced by an ex-FlyLAL Boeing 737-500. On 27 June 2014, an order was announced for three Boeing 737-800 aircraft to be acquired directly by Belavia. The first of these was delivered in August 2016.[7]

In August 2016, Belavia received their first aircraft with their new livery. This is the first re-branding since the company's founding in 1996 on its 20 years anniversary. The new livery was applied a brand new Boeing 737-800. The much newer 737s replaced the aging Tupolev Tu-154s. On 1 October 2016, Belavia retired their two remaining Tupolev Tu-154s from scheduled services as one of the last airlines worldwide to do so.[8]

In 2019, the company employed nearly 1,900 people, and generated a turnover of 374 million euros with an operating result of 49 million euros. During this year it carried almost 4 million passengers, an increase of more than 15% compared to the 2018 figure.[9]

Several employees who participated in 2020 Belarusian protests were forced to leave their jobs.[10]

2021 sanctions

On 24 May 2021, the British government suspended Belavia's operating permit in response to the Ryanair Flight 4978 incident.[11] The European Union and Ukraine subsequently banned Belarusian airliners from entering their airspace or using their airports, effectively banning Belavia which led to the suspension of vast parts of their route network.[12][13]

Also in 2021, Belavia was accused of orchestrating the influx of illegal migrants during 2021 Belarus–European Union border crisis.[14] In September 2021 it has been reported that Belavia might face to lose the majority of its current fleet as its lessors might be no longer allowed to lease them out to Belarussian airlines as part of new embargoes.[15] At this point Belavia owned 18 smaller, older aircraft, but had rented several modern jets from western companies, with the Irish AerCap with 6 and the Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Capital with 7 aircraft being the most important suppliers.[16] On 16 November, the European Union confirmed the termination of all aircraft leases to Belarus by European lessors which forces the airline to return half of their current fleet on short notice.[17][18]

On 2 December 2021, Belavia was added to the sanctions list of the European Union.[19] Switzerland joined the EU sanctions on 20 December.[20]

Destinations

Main article: List of Belavia destinations

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Belavia operated flights to Asia, Europe, and Africa from its base at Minsk National Airport. In addition to scheduled destinations listed here, Belavia operates charter flights to leisure destinations and VIP charters. On the eve of the Ryanair Flight 4978 forced takedown incident, it served one domestic destination and 54 international destinations in 32 countries. As a result of the subsequent ban on Belarusian airliners entering the EU, UK and Ukrainian airspace, the airline is effectively stripped off all but twenty of these destinations: owing to the geographical constraints, access to Chișinău (Moldova), Kaliningrad (Russia), and Belgrade (Serbia) has become de facto impossible, despite these three non-EU member states not having issued any independent travel bans on Belavia.[21] On 28 May 2021, the airline confirmed the cancellation of flights that would otherwise be forced to pass through restricted airspace as well as their ongoing efforts to reroute the Istanbul, Turkey connection, up to this point handled using a straight route over Ukraine, Moldova, Romania as well as Bulgaria's territorial waters.[22]

Codeshare agreements

Belavia has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of May 2022:[23]

Fleet

Current fleet

A Belavia Boeing 737-300
A Belavia Boeing 737-300
A Belavia Boeing 737-800
A Belavia Boeing 737-800

As of May 2022, the Belavia fleet consists of the following aircraft:[24][25]

Belavia fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
B E Total
Boeing 737-300 2 148 148 leased aircraft to be returned[26][17]
Boeing 737-800 5 189 189 leased aircraft to be returned[26][17]
Boeing 737 MAX 8 1 12 162 174 leased aircraft to be returned;[26][17] stored[25]
Embraer 175 1 12 64 76
Embraer 195 4 11 96 107 1 stored[25]
Total 13

Historic fleet

A former Belavia Tupolev Tu-134
A former Belavia Tupolev Tu-134
A former Belavia Tupolev TU-154M
A former Belavia Tupolev TU-154M
Belavia Retired Fleet[27][25]
Aircraft Notes
Antonov An-10
Antonov An-24 Acquired in 1998 from MinskAvia
Antonov An-26 Acquired in 1998 from MinskAvia
Boeing 737-500 phased-out in 2021[25]
Bombardier CRJ-100ER phased-out in 2018[25]
Bombardier CRJ-200ER phased-out in 2020[25]
Embraer 195-E2 Returned to lessor due to embargoes.[28][25]
Ilyushin Il-86 EW-86062,[29] ex СССР-86062, then RA-86062 to Atlant-Soyuz Airlines;[30]
Was used in 1994 to 1996 on charter routes to China and United States.[31]
Tupolev Tu-124
Tupolev Tu-134A
Tupolev Tu-154B One used as training mock-up[citation needed]
Tupolev Tu-154B1
Tupolev Tu-154B2 One used as training mock-up[32]
Yakovlev Yak-40 Acquired in 1998 from MinskAvia

Incidents and accidents

References

  1. ^ en.belavia.by - Timetable retrieved 14 November 2021
  2. ^ "Belavia website: Contacts". En.belavia.by. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. pp. 84–85.
  4. ^ "Belavia now serving 32 destinations from Minsk; Stockholm and Tehran latest additions to growing network". anna.aero Airline Route News & Analysis.
  5. ^ Airliner World, February 2007
  6. ^ http://www.belta.by/en/news/econom?id=474506[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Another NG for Belavia". Airliner World (October 2016): 8.
  8. ^ "Belarus's Belavia ends scheduled Tu-154M operations".
  9. ^ "2019 Belavia Annual Report" (PDF). balavia.by. 19 March 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 September 2020.
  10. ^ Бывшая сотрудница «Белавиа»: «В Жодинском ИВС нас называли проститутками и террористами»
  11. ^ "UK's Raab says Lukashenko must be held to account for jet incident". Reuters. 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  12. ^ "EU imposes new economic sanctions on Belarus over 'hijacked' flight". the Guardian. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  13. ^ Reuters Staff (25 May 2021). "Ukrainian airlines not allowed to transit through Belarus airspace - minister". Reuters. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  14. ^ Naomi O’Leary (18 October 2021). "Irish leasing firms under pressure over alleged use of aircraft to traffic migrants". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  15. ^ aerotelegraph.com (German) 2 September 2021
  16. ^ Rüdiger Kiani-Kreß (20 October 2021). "Wer Lukaschenko seine Flüchtlings-Flugzeuge leiht". Wirtschaftswoche. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d aerotelegraph.com (German) 16 November 2021
  18. ^ "Belarusian Airline Belavia Cuts Fleet in Half Due to EU Sanctions - December 3, 2021". Daily News Brief. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  19. ^ "COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2021/2124 of 2 December 2021 implementing Article 8a(1) of Regulation (EC) No 765/2006 concerning restrictive measures in respect of Belarus". Official Journal of the European Union. 2 December 2021. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Searching for subjects of sanctions". State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Archived from the original on 1 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Belavia routes and airport map". FlightConnections. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Flights to Larnaca, Belgrade, Budapest and Kishinev are suspended, flights to Istanbul is operated with an amended route". Belavia News. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  23. ^ "Belavia Partners". Belavia. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  24. ^ "Aircraft Fleet". en.belavia.by. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h planespotters.net - Belavia retrieved 4 May 2022
  26. ^ a b c ch-aviation.com - Lithuania pushes for EU ban on Belavia leases 31 August 2021
  27. ^ "БЕЛАВИА - Национальная авиакомпания Республики Беларусь - История компании". Belavia.by. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  28. ^ ch-aviation.com - Belarus’s Belavia stores its E195-E2s in Kazakhstan 29 October 2021
  29. ^ Gerard Helmer (9 September 1994). "Photos: Ilyushin Il-86 Aircraft Pictures". Airliners.net.
  30. ^ "ММЗ им. С. В. Ильюшина Ил-86". Abaza.ilisso.ru. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Forumavia.ru - Ил-86 EW-86062 Belavia". www.forumavia.ru.
  32. ^ "Штурм самолета, нейтрализация "террористов" и освобождение "заложников" | Фоторепортаж | Новости Беларуси | Последние новости | Онлайн новости | Мировые новости | БелТА". Belta.by. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  33. ^ Pravda Canopy of Belarusian Yak-40 burst in air Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Published 6 January 2003.
  34. ^ Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) (4 June 2009). "Final Report of Belavia Flight 1834" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2011.

Media related to Belavia at Wikimedia Commons