Skip to content

Aeroflot Is Back to the Future as Sanctions Ground Its Ambitions

  • Russian flagship now flies to a dozen countries, down from 56
  • Domestic airlines plan to buy local planes as sanctions bite
Vladimir Putin at the Aeroflot aviation training complex outside Moscow on March 5. 
Vladimir Putin at the Aeroflot aviation training complex outside Moscow on March 5. Source: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images
Updated on

Hours after President Vladimir Putin announced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aeroflot PJSC’s top executives gathered at the airline’s headquarters down the street from the Kremlin. 

In the official part of the surreal board meeting, they discussed the flagship Russian carrier’s budget without mentioning the war or any risks it might create, according to two people familiar with the proceedings who asked not to be identified because they weren’t public. But on the sidelines, some executives found little beyond curse words to describe the airline’s prospects, one of the people said.