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Malta-based aviation operator Emperor Aviation has had sanctions lifted by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), international portal ch-aviation has reported.

Back in 2022, the company had been named in the Specifically Designated Nationals (SDN) list alongside the eight private jets linked to it for its ties to Suleiman Kerimov, a Russia-based billionaire oligarch who is closely tied to President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Kerimov was sanctioned as a Russian oligarch close to President Putin by the US, UK, and EU in March 2022.

The OFAC had explained that the aircraft management company had coordinated luxury travel for Mr Kerimov’s immediate family, including his daughter, Gulnara Kerimova, even after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This prompted the US to impose a number of actions against him and members of his family, including sanctions being imposed on the Malta-based company.

The US State Department had stated that the designations “should serve as another warning that those who support sanctioned Russian persons risk being sanctioned themselves.”

This was the first time that the OFAC had designated Malta-registered aircraft.

However, on Monday (today), ch-aviation reported that OFAC removed Emperor Aviation and its aircraft from the SDN list on Friday.

The aircraft taken off the list are:

  • Global 5000 9H-AMN with manufacturer’s serial number (msn) 9324;
  • Global 5000 9H-TIO with msn 9813;
  • Global 6500 9H-ARK with msn 60011;
  • Citation XLS+ 9H-EAA with msn 560-6170, but is now flying with Sofia’s Heli Air as LZ-CVB;
  • Global Express XRS 9H-MAO with msn 9223;
  • Challenger 650 9H-SIS with msn 6050; and
  • G650 9H-SSK with msn 6195

Another aircraft which had also been initially sanctioned, G650 9H-OKO (msn 6356), was removed from the SDN list in January, according to records.

OFAC did not provide a reason for any of the moves.

Founded in 2013, Emperor Aviation is a business aviation operator that has over 20 years of experience and expertise working with several European aviation companies. It offers a full package of services including flight operations, crew rosters, operational flight procedures, and cost controls, among others.

Featured Image:

Emperor Aviation / Facebook

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