Cham Wings acquires French airplane from the UAE

One of Cham Wings company’s airplanes (Cham Wings’ official website)

One of Cham Wings company’s airplanes (Cham Wings’ official website)


The Syrian airline company Cham Wings has obtained a new airplane from the United Arab Emirates, as part of a scheme to circumvent sanctions that includes a fake airline carrier owned by Queens Air, according to the Plane Spotters website specialized in monitoring flights.

Queens Air temporarily registered the airplane in Kyrgyzstan under the name “EX-32012”, and it was transferred through the Minsk airport, the capital of Belarus, between January 24 and 25 to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and then to Damascus, on February 7.

The website explained that the airplane is of French make, an “Airbus A320” model that was produced about 18 years and nine months ago.

The website displayed the history of the airplane’s ownership since its issue, belonging to airlines from several countries, including the Republic of El Salvador until 2019, then the United States, and Slovakia until January 2023.

In January 2023, its ownership was transferred to Sky One company registered in the Emirate of Sharjah, which in turn transferred it to an unknown company named Queens Air in October 2023, which then transferred its ownership to Cham Wings on February 13.

According to what was observed by Enab Baladi, Queens Air company has no activity, and its official website does not contain any information or social media pages.

The activist Samir, interested in verifying maps and air traffic in Syria, said via his “X” account that Cham Wings, which had been sanctioned again by the European Union on January 22, reused an old registration for an “A320” airplane making it appear as if it were the same plane that left the fleet a few years ago.

Participation despite sanctions

Cham Wings participated last January in an international tourism exhibition “FITUR 2024” in Spain, one of the most important global and international tourism exhibitions in the world, days after the European Union reimposed sanctions on it due to its transport of mercenaries and drugs to support the Syrian regime.

The participation came “with the aim of opening tourism markets to Syria and striving for its return to the international tourism map,” and was met with condemnation by Syrian activists, as it came only days after it was included in new EU sanctions.

Cham Wings is considered the second air carrier in Syria and is owned by the Shammout Business Group. It was established in 2008 and was forced to stop operations at the beginning of 2012 due to economic sanctions on Syria, only to resume its flights in September 2014, which was the year it was adopted as a “Syrian national carrier”.

On January 22, the European Union announced the imposition of restrictive measures against six individuals and five entities linked to the Syrian regime.

The new list included an economic advisor to the president of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, three businessmen who provide support to the regime, two individuals connected to the Assad family, and five companies that support and benefit from the regime, including Cham Wings airlines owned by Muhammad Issam Shammout, which uses its flights to transport Syrian mercenaries, arms trade, drug smuggling, and money laundering.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control included Cham Wings in the US sanctions list on December 31, 2016, for providing financial, technological, and service support to the Syrian regime government and Syrian Arab Airlines.


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