Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) has said it will resume scheduled flights to Kazakhstan starting February 1, despite the possibility its non-Russian aircraft could be seized while they are there.

The Russian flag carrier will start flights to Almaty (3x daily), Astana (Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev, 2x daily), and Atyrau (2x weekly rising to 3x weekly in March), using Airbus A320 Family aircraft, it said.

Aeroflot Group already operates between Russia and Kazakhstan through its subsidiary Rossiya (FV, St. Petersburg), the ch-aviation schedules module shows, from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Aktau, Aktobe, Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Karaganda, and Kostanay, all with Russian-made SSJ 100/95 equipment.

Aeroflot has been careful not to operate a substantial part of its fleet to international destinations due to the risk of lessors seizing the aircraft they leased to the carrier, which have been stranded in Russia since sanctions were imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.

However, an official in Kazakhstan’s government told the US-based Central Asia news specialist Eurasianet that only aircraft which Aeroflot had previously purchased outright from foreign lessors would be allowed to service the flights.

“The planes that we will allow to fly into Kazakhstan are purely Russian-owned, so they have been bought out from the leasing companies,” the official said.

The number of Western-leased foreign-made aircraft that Russian airlines have bought from lessors is understood to be just a fraction - if any - of the approximately 400 that were retained there after Moscow began its war in Ukraine.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, besides Rossiya three other Russian carriers operate various routes to Kazakhstan - UTair with its fleet of owned B737-500s and Red Wings Airlines and Azimuth with their Superjets.

Of its fleet of 301 aircraft, the Airbus narrowbodies Aeroflot currently operates include twenty-six A319-100s (nine owned) - all of which are leased in from Rossiya or its former subsidiary Aurora; sixty A320-200s (at least five are owned); six A320-200Ns (none owned), thirty-two A321-200s (at least two owned), and three A321-200NXs (none owned).