The Belavia’s three E195-E2 jets took off from the capital Minsk on Tuesday with the same destination, Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport, in the city of Astana, Kazakhstan.
Air Astana, the Kazakhstan airline, informed the BBC that the aircraft were taken to their country at the request of Belavia as they will not be used in the coming months.
However, an industry source said that in reality the transfer was an order from AerCap, the leasing company that owns the aircraft, for the three Embraer jets to be stored in a dry climate.
Belavia flights banned
Belavia has been suffering retaliation from countries in the West after the episode that occurred with a Ryanair flight in May that was forced to land in Belarus so that the government arrested journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sophia Sapega, who were on board.
Flight FR4978 had left Athens for Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, when it was intercepted by Belarus Air Force fighters.
The diplomatic incident caused several nations to prohibit the overflight of Belarusian planes, making Belavia’s flight network limited to destinations in Russia and other former Soviet republics, as well as countries in the Middle East.
Embraer jets account for more than half of Belavia’s planes. In addition to the three E195-E2, the company has five E175s and seven first-generation E195s.
The company had closed the lease of the E195-E2 in February last year and received the first aircraft in December.