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Cargo Airplane Still Grounded at Toronto Pearson International Airport

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Cargo Airplane Still Grounded At Toronto Pearson International Airport

It has been almost two years since a massive cargo plane from Russia has been parked at Toronto Pearson International Airport, but there is still no timeline for its removal. The Russian-registered Antonov 124, owned by Volga-Dnepr Airlines, arrived at the airport on February 27, 2022, and has remained parked near Terminal 1 since then. This aircraft has become quite a visible sight, as it can be seen from Highway 427 and even on Google Maps satellite imagery.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the Canadian government restricted airspace to all Russian aircraft, including the Antonov 124. In April, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited Canada and mentioned the new sanctions imposed by Canada against entities related to the Russian aviation sector. Volga-Dnepr Group and Volga-Dnepr Airlines were included in these sanctions. Shmyhal indicated that preparations were being made to seize the parked cargo airplane and potentially transfer it to support Ukraine.

In June, the Canadian government took action to seize the aircraft under a law outlined in the 2022 federal budget. This seizure was part of the government’s strategy to pressure Russia and halt its illegal war against Ukraine by targeting its economic system and limiting resources that contribute to the conflict. Former Foreign Affairs Minister echoed this intention when the seizure was announced.

Rachel Adams

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