A Russian cargo jet that was contracted by the federal government was impounded by the federal government when it landed in Toronto two weeks ago. The Volga Dnepr An-124 flew a load of COVID tests from China to Pearson Airport via Anchorage on Feb. 27, just as Canada closed its airspace to Russian aircraft and issued sanctions on a broad range of Russian industries over the invasion of Ukraine. The airline is crying foul.
“Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated a series of charters in the interests of the Canadian government delivering vital Covid-19-related products from China,” the company said in a statement. It said it’s negotiating with Canadian authorities “settlement of all formalities to be able to fly to its home base.” The aircraft in question is a 27-year-old example of what may be the largest cargo plane in the world now that the An-225 has been destroyed during the war. Volga Dnepr operates about a dozen An-124s. It is based in Ulyanovsk, Russia but also has a base in Houston, Texas.