Russia dismantles passenger planes to replace spare parts

Aeroflot commercial airliner, in file photo. The dismantling of Russian ships began for lack of spare parts (Reuters)

Russian airlines including state AeroflotAnd the They are getting rid of planes to secure spare parts that they can no longer buy abroad due to Western sanctionsas they said Reuters Four industrial sources.

These measures are in line with advice provided by the Government Russia Gave in June to Airlines use some planes for spare partsin order to ensure that the rest of the foreign-made aircraft can continue to fly until at least 2025.

Penalties for Russia After sending their troops to Ukraine at the end of February, they prevented their airlines from getting spare parts Or subject to maintenance in the West. Aviation experts said Russian airlines are likely to start recalling parts of their planes to keep them airworthy, but these are the first detailed examples.

At least once Sukhoi Super Jet 100 Russian made and Airbus A350both powered by AeroflotThey are currently on the ground and are being dismantled, a source familiar with the matter said. The source declined to reveal his identity due to the sensitivity of the issue. The Airbus A350 almost newThe source said.

Most of the Russian fleet consists of Western aircraft. The equipment was taken from a couple Boeing 737 s Airbus A320 From AeroflotAs the company needs more spare parts from these models to the other Boeing 737 s Airbus A320The source said.

The Ministry of Transport b Russia s Aeroflot They did not respond to requests for comment.

The Sukhoi Super Jet assembled in Russia It is also highly dependent on foreign parts. One drive has already been removed from a file Fantastic jet plane to allow another Fantastic jet plane The first source said, keep flying.

Industry experts said the engines are frequently swapped between aircraft and are often supplied under separate contracts. It is not considered part of the heart of the aircraft. that it “Just a matter of time“That plane stationed in Russia Said a source in the Western aircraft industry.

File: Aeroflot Airbus A320-200 lands at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow (Reuters)
File: Aeroflot Airbus A320-200 lands at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow (Reuters)

New generations of aircraft –A320neo, A350, Boeing 737MAX and 787– It has technology that must be constantly updated.

Within one year of the entry into force of the sanctions, It will be difficult to keep modern aircraft in serviceeven for the highly competent and advanced engineering base RussiaWestern sources said.

The practice of removing parts to keep another plane flying is known as turning discarded planes into “Christmas trees.”. Although relatively rare, Usually related to financial difficulties And it never happened on the same scale as the large-scale remodeling it envisioned Russia to deal with the impact of sanctions.

The aircraft can be restarted as long as the removed parts are replacedalthough this would not necessarily reconfigure the traceability necessary for aircraft to return to global markets.

Many parts have a limited life that must be recorded.

Almost 80% of Aeroflot’s fleet consists of aircraft Boeing s Airbus: You have 134 Boeing s 146 AirbusTogether with approx 80 Sukhoi Superjet-100 Russian-made at the end of last year according to the latest available data.

According to the calculations Reuters Based on data from Flytradar 24some 50 Aeroflots – or 15% of its fleet, including those stranded by sanctions – have not taken off since the end of July.

Three out of seven Airbus A350 operated by Aeroflotincluding one now used for parts, hasn’t taken off for about three months, according to data from Flytradar 24.

The head of the Russian regime, Vladimir Putin, after a meeting in Sochi, Russia (Reuters)
The head of the Russian regime, Vladimir Putin, after a meeting in Sochi, Russia (Reuters)

The fact that Russian airlines are flying fewer routes due to Western sanctions means that There are idle planes on the ground that can be canceledA second industry source said.

Western manufacturers know that almost all giant planes are blown up Russia“, He said Oleg Panteleev, director of the Aviaport Flight Research Center. “They can simply stop producing and shipping spare parts, and that will hurt them.“.

The plan for the development of the Russian aircraft industry until 2030 estimates this Russia You can face the biggest challenges with A350 And the series s From BombardierIt is maintained outside.

Russian government advice states:Partial dismantling of some parts of the aircraft fleet”, which will allow two-thirds of the foreign fleet to operate by the end of 2025. The main challenge will be to maintain the operation of the engines and advanced electronic equipment, he said. Panteleev. “It will be difficult to repair“, He said.

Aeroflotwhich was once among the world’s leading airlines but now relies on state support, saw a 22% drop in traffic in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous yearAccording to the company’s data, after sanctions prevented it from traveling to most western destinations.

Ensuring supply from countries that have not been sanctioned Russia Is unlikely to help, because the companies Asia s The Middle East The sources said they fear the risk of secondary sanctions being imposed on them by Western governments.

Each part has its own (unique) number, and if the documents have a Russian airline as the final buyer, no one will approve the supply, neither China nor DubaiThe first source said that all the pieces should be known Boeing s Airbus before being presented to the end user.

(With information from Reuters). –

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