Ukraine Crisis: Russia Expects 81% Of Country’s Airline Fleet to Be Russian Aircraft By 2030

SuperJet International, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Via a planned $14.5bn investment by the government, Russia is expecting that 81% of the total airline fleet in the country will be Russian-made aircraft by 2030.

This comes as no surprise, given the heavy sanctions being placed on the country as a result of the Ukraine Crisis.

Some examples of this have been seen through Aeroflot’s outstanding Airbus A350 orders being transferred to Turkish Airlines as the aircraft won’t be delivered into the country.

Because of this, it is resulting in the Russian government and also airlines in the region having to place commitments with the likes of UAC and others.

Ambitious Target…

This 81% target was announced by Yury Borisov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who made this announcement to government officials.

“The share of domestically produced aircraft in the fleet of Russian airlines should grow to 81% by 2030”.

The 81% & $14.5bn figures represent an overall program of 1,000 Russian aircraft to be delivered by the end of the decade.

On top of this, it is rumored that Aeroflot could be signing a deal with UAC for around 300 aircraft, which of course would get things started and into gear regarding this.

Russian Tourism Sector Collapsed…

Such moves from the Russian Government don’t come as a surprise, especially with data from ForwardKeys highlighting that the Russian tourism sector has collapsed.

Data from ForwardKeys shows that the issuance of outbound international air tickets from Russia stood at 42% of pre-pandemic levels.

However, in the week immediately after the invasion, the issuance dropped to a staggering 19%, with figures nowadays showing a figure of around 15%.

The report from the analytics firm shows that the timeline of the collapse related to the date on which certain sanctions were put into effect:

  • 24th Feb: Air space in southern Russia was closed and Aeroflot was banned from flying to the UK
  • 25th Feb: Russia banned British airlines from its airspace
  • 27th Feb: The EU closed its airspace to Russian planes
  • 1st Mar: The US banned Russian flights from entering its airspace
  • 5th Mar: Russian airlines (Aeroflot, Ural Airlines, Azur Air and Nordwind Airlines, and others) suspended international flights
  • 25th Mar: Rosaviatsiya, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, extended a ban on flight operations at 11 airports in southern and central parts of Russia
  • 25th Mar: Vietnam Airlines suspended regular flights to Russia
  • 14th Apr: AirBaltic stopped flights to Russia – but will return to Ukraine ASAP

Olivier Ponti, the VP of Insights at ForwardKeys expanded more on the meaning behind this report:

“The war with Ukraine, and the consequent sanctions on flying, have effectively caused Russia’s outbound tourism market to dry up.”

“Those people who are still flying comprise a small, affluent niche, who are forced to holiday in Asia and the Middle East rather than in Europe, which is their favorite destination in normal times.”

Plans Are In Place…

It does appear that plans are beginning to formulate further in Russia, especially with the Chinese Government agreeing to supply Russia with spare plans for aircraft.

The Chinese Ambassador to Moscow Zhang Hanhui said the following to TASS earlier this month:

“We are ready to supply spare parts to Russia, we will set up the cooperation. Now, [airlines] are working [on this], they have certain channels, there are no restrictions on the part of China”.

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has begun production of 20 Tupolev TU-214 aircraft as part of a production program that will replace Boeing & Airbus aircraft.

According to UAC’s CEO, Yuri Slyusar, production is going to scale up substantially:

“We are to scale up [serial production] shortly. We have already started production of twenty Tu-214 airplanes”, the CEO said to TASS.

With China opting to help out now, it will be interesting to see what sort of response this will deem from the West and whether efforts are being made to hinder this effort.

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