Ukraine Crisis: Which Russian Airline Is Operating The Most?

Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

LONDON – One question that has come out of the Ukraine Crisis is that in the wake of airspace sanctions, which Russian carrier is operating the most?

Using data from, we will be assessing the performance of the following Russian carriers:

  • Aeroflot
  • Ural Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • Pobeda
  • Rossiya
  • UTAir
  • Aurora

So without further ado, let’s get into it:


For this week (June 25-July 2), Aeroflot Russian Airlines is expected to operate 451 flights, which is down 20.18% compared to the same period last year.

Aeroflot has been prevalent in punishments caused by sanctions by the West, with the most recent incident happening in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Authorities in the country placed an arrest warrant on one of their Airbus A330s as it belonged to a Western lessor.

Ural Airlines…

Ural Airlines is expected to operate around 192 flights this week, which is 11.93% less than the same period last year, highlighting the Ukraine Crisis taking effect.

The only level of news from the airline during the crisis was their suspension of flights to Azerbaijan, which later joined the UAE, Armenia & Israel as the conflict continued.

2021 numbers, in particular, highlighted a form of completed recovery that took place, although now the numbers have dipped below that threshold.

S7 Airlines…

S7 Airlines was in the same boat as Ural Airlines last year, operating more flights than they did on a pre-pandemic basis.

382 flights are due to take place this week, which is an 11.98% decrease compared to the same period last year. The carrier has experienced a rebound in traffic recently due to the increased demand for domestic flights.

However, the airline has been forced to suspend all international flights since the crisis started as well as being forced out of oneworld via suspension.


Pobeda has suffered quite a lot since the Ukraine Crisis has come into full effect. Figures for this week will see 168 flights operate, which is 35.88% less than the same period last year.

The airline in 2021 was in full recovery and was even performing better than 2019’s numbers, which was recorded at 168, which is the same as 2022.

Whilst numbers have stabilized, they could always continue to decrease as a result.


Rossiya hasn’t been as widely affected as some of its competitors. Around 271 flights are due to take place this week, which is only a decrease of 6.55% compared to the same period last year.

2022’s numbers are still better than 2019, but of course, sanctions will continue to bite the carrier the longer that the conflict goes on.

The airline also came into the news back in early March when they scrambled dozens of Special Flight Squadron aircraft out of Moscow.


UTAir is the second-hardest hit in terms of overall decreases. Only 87 flights are due to take place this week with the carrier, which is a 40% decrease compared to the same period last year.

The airline has been struggling to achieve the same number of flights as it did in 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine becoming a deadly mix for the carrier.

With the airline removing nine Boeing 737s from service, this has caused speculation that the Yakolev Yak-40 & Yak-42 might be returning to the carrier.

The airline is also subject to enforcement action from the United States over the continued operation of Boeing aircraft.


Aurora has been the hardest hit airline, suffering a 46.88% decrease in movements compared to the same period last year. This means that only 17 flights will operate this week.

Again, this airline has been struggling to reach pre-pandemic numbers, and this means that the Ukraine Crisis will make this more of a difficult feat for them.

The only proper mention that the carrier has had in the news is regarding the ban they were given by the European Commission from flying into Europe.

And The Winner Is…

To no surprise, Aeroflot is the carrier that is operating the most amount of the flights as the Ukraine Crisis continues to unfold.

Some of the statistics seen above do highlight how badly hit Russian carriers have been hit by the sanctions imposed by the West, and this level of damage will continue so long as the war is happening.

It’s going to be interesting to see how much longer the airlines will be able to sustain these levels of operations, as well as how long the handouts will last from the Russian Government too.

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