Russian plane grounded indefinitely at Toronto Pearson racking up huge parking bill

A Russian-registered Antonov AN-124 owned by Volga-Dneper sits on the tarmac at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Monday, March 21, 2022. (The Canadian Press)

A massive Russian plane that was grounded at Toronto Pearson International Airport back in February is racking up a substantial parking bill.

The Russian cargo plane, belonging to the airline Volga-Dnepr, has been parked at Toronto since Feb. 27 after the Canadian government closed the airspace to Russian aircraft operators.

The order banning Russian aircraft operators from Canadian airspace is still in place, meaning the plane is still not allowed to leave Canada.

According to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), which operates Toronto Pearson, the owner of the plane is being billed 74 cents per minute to park.

"To save you doing the math, it works out to $1,065.60 for each 24-hour period," GTAA spokesperson Ryan White told CTV News Toronto.

The plane has been parked at Toronto Pearson for 88 days, meaning the owner has racked up more than $93,000 in fees, not including tax.

White said he could not comment further on the fees, or whether they have sent the airline an invoice, for legal reasons.

In February, the Antonov An-124 arrived into Canada from China, via Anchorage and Russia. The plane had planned to leave Toronto shortly after arriving in Canada, but that flight was cancelled.

Transport Canada said the aircraft had been prohibited from departing due to a ban on Russian-owned aircraft in Canadian airspace.

In a statement to CTV News Toronto on Thursday, Transport Canada said they have no plans to allow the plane to leave. 

"The NOTAM remains in place, and there are no plans to make revisions or change the NOTAM at this time," Transport Canada said. "Transport Canada has informed Russian authorities about the NOTAM we currently have in place."