In a recent turn of events, Turkish airline Southwind has encountered significant difficulties in servicing American Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines due to the wording of a directive issued by the United States Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) concerning the revocation of export privileges for Russian carrier Nordwind.
The BIS directive, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce, was initially issued on June 24, 2022, and it revoked Nordwind’s right to engage in transactions falling under export control regulations, which include the export and re-export of American-made components. This restriction was imposed for a period of 180 days. Subsequently, the directive was extended twice, with the second extension on June 15, 2023, adding the tour operator Pegas Touristik as an associated entity with Nordwind. Additionally, the directive included a reference to a Turkish airline with which Pegas had entered into an agreement to operate flights to Russia using American-made aircraft, thereby circumventing export restrictions.
According to information from the U.S. federal registry, on June 27, Pegas was removed from the BIS directive, and the reference to the Turkish airline was also expunged. However, in August, Pegas filed an appeal with the U.S. Coast Guard Administrative Law Judge Docketing Center, demanding that BIS issue a new directive publicly acknowledging that designating the tour operator as associated with Nordwind was erroneous.
Southwind also filed an appeal. Despite not being mentioned by name in the BIS directive concerning Nordwind, Southwind argued that the wording was detailed enough to identify their airline. They claimed that this misinterpretation had led to issues in their relationships with business partners.
According to Southwind’s statement, this interpretation of the directive by Pratt & Whitney, their key business partner, led to Pratt & Whitney ceasing to service the engines of aircraft leased by Southwind, jeopardizing their business operations. Southwind’s appeal to BIS requested a separate directive confirming the company’s status quo as of June 15 and clarifying that business partners could continue to collaborate with them without incurring sanctions.
Both appeals, from Pegas and Southwind, were rejected, as indicated in the documents. Regarding Southwind, it is noted that sufficient measures have already been taken to restore the company’s reputation. In July, BIS sent a letter to the Turkish airline, asking them to forward it to Pratt & Whitney to alleviate concerns that servicing Southwind’s aircraft engines would be considered a violation.
According to the documents, after receiving this letter, Pratt & Whitney restored Southwind’s access to the P&W Engine Wise Connect portal and its associated applications. The engine monitoring application will once again function, though engine data transmission remains restricted, according to the American company’s response.
Pegas Touristik LLC, according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (EGRUL), is owned by Ramazan Akpynar, a Turkish national with Russian citizenship.
Nordwind, legally known as LLC “Severny Veter,” is controlled by former co-owner of Pegas Touristik, Karine Bukrey.
Southwind was established in Turkey in April 2022 following the imposition of Western sanctions against Russia due to the situation in Ukraine. The company was said to be oriented toward attracting Russian tourists.