Russia’s Volga-Dnepr has reportedly threatened legal action against the Canadian government over its seizure of one of its Antonov AN-124 freighter aircraft, according to HLPFI’s sister publication Air Cargo News.  

Volga-Dnepr threatens legal action over seized AN-124

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

HLPFI readers will recall that the Canadian government ordered the seizure of a Volga-Dnepr AN-124 stranded at Toronto Pearson Airport since the start of the war in Ukraine. 

Reports from Russia’s Interfax news agency suggest the airline group has now sent a letter to Canadian authorities – including prime minister Justin Trudeau – asking for the dispute to be resolved amicably. However, the company threatened legal action if an agreement could not be found. 

“If the dispute is not resolved within six months of Canada’s receipt of the notification, Volga-Dnepr Airlines will formally initiate arbitration proceedings. Volga-Dnepr remains open to negotiations with Canadian representatives to resolve the issue and return the aircraft,” Volga-Dnepr is quoted as stating. 

The airline also pointed out that the aircraft was carrying covid test kits from China to Canada when a notice to airmen (NOTAM) was issued prohibiting Russian aircraft from using the country’s airspace. 

As a result, the aircraft has been grounded at Toronto Pearson Airport since February 27 last year. 

In June, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the aircraft has been illegally detained and said its seizure was cynical and shameless theft.