Russian low cost carrier pulls out of Boeing 737 MAX contracts

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FILE PHOTO: Aircraft of Pobeda airline are seen at the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow

Moscow (Reuters) – Russian airline Pobeda has pulled out of contracts for 20 Boeing 737 MAX planes, the low cost unit of national flag carrier Aeroflot said on Tuesday.

Russia has not authorised flights by Boeing 737 MAX planes since a ban that followed two crashes involving the aircraft that killed 346 people in 2018-19.

“We have given up on firm contracts for 20 Boeings 737 MAX, without any penalties,” Pobeda said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Leasing companies GECAS and SMBC had been due to deliver five and 15 of the planes to Pobeda, respectively.

The airline said one of the reasons for the decision not to acquire the aircraft was the lack of state approval to use them.

Pobeda operates 44 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and expects to receive 20 planes a year from its parent company Aeroflot in 2022–2023.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; editing by Tom Balmforth and David Evans)

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