• Belavia has launched a new route between Minsk and Delhi, India, offering passengers a direct flight without layovers.
  • The airline will operate this once-weekly service using a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which is the only aircraft in their fleet capable of flying the 3,100-mile journey.
  • Despite facing sanctions from the US, Belavia remains committed to expanding its route network, with Delhi becoming its 10th country served.

The Belarusian flag carrier Belavia, based out of Minsk National Airport (MSQ) in Belarus, has officially begun a new route connecting Belarus and India. On August 12th, the airline completed its maiden flight between Minsk and Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi, India.

A new route for Belavia

On Friday, August 11th, Belavia flight 757 departed Minisk at 20:45 local time and arrived five hours and 57 minutes later the following day at 05:12 local time in Delhi. The return flight, Belavia Flight 758, departed Delhi at 07:17 local time and arrived back in Minsk after six hours and 57 minutes at 11:30 local time. Until September, this route will operate weekly; from September 20th, the flight schedule will include an additional weekly flight on Wednesday from Minsk and from Delhi on Thursday.

A parked Belavia 737 MAX
Photo: Belavia

On Belavia’s maiden service, the airline used a Boeing 737 MAX 8 for the six-hour flight. The aircraft, registered EW-528PA, is four years old; however, it was only delivered to the airline on April 8th, 2021. According to the airline, they will continue to operate this once-weekly service to Delhi using the 737 MAX aircraft as it is the only aircraft in its fleet capable of flying the 3,100-mile journey. The aircraft is configured in two classes with 12 business class seats and 162 in economy.

Director General of Belavia, Igor Cherginets, shared his excitement about the new route, stating:

“We know that passengers have been looking forward to the opening of this flight. Our specialists have been working hard for a long time to fulfill the travelers’ wishes. I can firmly say that this is one of the most interesting destinations in the route network of the airline.

"We have solved the problem of those who have long dreamed of diving into the Indian flavor and experience the culture of another country but were not ready to set out on a long journey with layovers. Now, to travel to India, all you have to do is buy one ticket, take a good mood, and get on the plane, and we will take you to new emotions. We also expect that the launch of flights between Minsk and Delhi will foster the development of cooperation between Belarus and India.”

India will be the airline’s 10th country; the airline serves the following: Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

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Facing sanctions

Last week, the United States Department of Treasury sanctioned the carrier, and one of its regional aircraft, a Bombardier CRJ-200ER registered EW-301PJ.

This is not the first time the airline has been sanctioned as just last year, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) banned any aircraft registered in, owned, controlled by, or under charter or lease by Belarus or a national of Belarus that includes more than 25% US-origin managed content from operating into or out of Belarus and Russia.

Belavia 737 landing while another 737 waits to takeoff
Photo: Belavia

These new sanctions by the US follow previous instructions by the US to prohibit ticket sales to and from the United States. The airline made a strict decision after asking its employees not to protest against the fraudulent elections. Belavia Airlines’ CRJ-200ER is often used for transporting high-profile figures, including the family members of Alexander Lukashenko.

Belavia’s fleet also includes the multiple variants of the Boeing 737 from the 737 MAX to the Boeing 737-300, as well as multiple variants of the Embraer regional jets from the E195-E2 to the E175.