Russian jets grounded for the long haul

By Scoop
April 12, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Oligarchs escaping sanctions fled to Dubai for refuge – only for their private planes to get stuck there for the long haul.   

The long Dubai 

With sanctions looming in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian oligarchs high-tailed it towards the few places where they were still allowed to fly. One of these was Dubai, a safe haven for the rich and famous. But as the war wages on, and even tougher sanctions are imposed by countries across Europe and beyond, Dubai has turned into a dead-end for Russia’s richest.  

While the airspace in the UAE has remained open to Russian planes, they are now, somewhat ironically, unable to fly anywhere else. Hopefully the Russians like the heat – they’ll be calling Dubai ‘home’ for the foreseeable future.   

Hiding in plane sight 

Satellite images shot by Earth-imaging company Planet Labs show dozens of Russian jets piled up in Dubai’s airports, with nowhere to fly and no means of maintaining the planes. 

Major aviation companies like Boeing and Airbus have stopped supplying spare parts to Russian airlines as part of the sanctions, so even if these planes could fly the Dubai nest, they might not be up to flying standard anyway. So, for all its glitz and glamor, Dubai might not be the safe haven that Russian oligarchs thought it would be.  

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