Sanctions force Russian airlines to cut staff and strip planes

Aeroflot reportedly used an A350 and an SSJ100 as a parts source for other aircraft. Around 200 pilots of the Boeing Volga Dnper group were reportedly fired for not being able to use the freighter jets

Western economic sanctions aimed at preventing manufacturers from shipping spare parts for commercial aircraft in Russia are beginning to be felt heavily by the country’s carriers.

According to Reuters sources, Aeroflot, the main Russian airline, is dismantling an Airbus A350 and a Sukhoi SSJ100 to serve as a parts repository for other aircraft.

In addition to the two planes, there are signs that two Boeing 737s and two A320s have also been taken out of active service to have their parts removed.

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The cannibalization of Western and even Russian planes that use Western components was a matter of time, according to analysts. To get around the problem, the Russian government authorized the production of spare parts without the consent of the manufacturers.

According to ADS-B tracking data, at least 50 Aeroflot aircraft have not flown since July.

Atran Boeing 737-400F (Sergey Korovkin 84)

Unemployed Boeing pilots

Another symptom of the precarious situation of commercial aircraft in Russia comes from the Volga Dnepr Group, the largest air cargo sector in the country, which will lay off more than 200 pilots of Boeing aircraft.

While parent company Volga Dnepr operates Russian aircraft, its subsidiaries AirBridgeCargo and Atran own fleets with jets from the US manufacturer. However, these planes have been parked in Russia for months, which motivated the company to ask the Ministry of Transport to authorize the return to the lessors.

AirBridgeCargo has 16 freighters, including a Boeing 777F, three 747-400Fs and 12 747-8Fs, which it tried to return. Atran operates with nine Boeing 737 cargo, three 737-400 and six 737-800.

In the absence of conditions to operate them, the Volga Dnepr would be considering flying the old Il-96 and Il-76.

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