China has banned Russian-operated Boeing and Airbus airliners from its airspace, citing safety concerns. More than 100 state-of-the-art airliners, most of them owned by Western leasing companies, are in the hands of Russian airlines and some have been re-registered in Russia. All of them have been banned from getting service or parts from countries that are sanctioning the country for its invasion of Ukraine. According to multiple reports based on a single Russian news source, China doesn’t want to violate ICAO regulations by allowing aircraft with unknown maintenance and ownership status fly over or to its territory. The Chinese government hasn’t commented.
According to the report, China asked all carriers who use its airspace for an update on ownership of their airplanes and other details, and Russia didn’t respond. China is reportedly walking a thin line by trying to avoid taking a position on the invasion while keeping business ties with the West.