Ukraine Crisis: Russia May Have To Ground Half Of Its Commercial Aircraft Fleet

Aeroflot Boeing 777 Landing at Heathrow Airport.
Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

LONDON – Russia predicts that if sanctions continue into the long-term, it may have to ground half of its commercial aircraft fleet.

This came from an unofficial report from the Russian government which was revealed by CH-Aviation, which places into view a significant worry for Russian aviation.

Such assumptions are made on the basis of not being able to source enough Airbus & Boeing parts, which are part of the sanctions list to cripple the Russian economy further.

Is It Karma?

This news shows that karma is definitely biting the Russians, especially after the government chose to nationalize and cannibalize over $4bn worth of aircraft assets from the West.

Even despite the fact that the Russian government aims to build 1,000 aircraft by 2030 to combat potential groundings, the damage would have been inflicted by that point.

The sanctions are encouraging the Russians to follow the Iranian model for aircraft servicing, which will definitely put the government on the back front in regard to this.

So with that in mind, it can most definitely be seen as karma in this respect, but this is something that the Russian government is clearly taking notice of.

A Lot of In-Fighting Within The Aviation Sector…

There has been a lot of in-fighting within the aviation sector over the Ukraine Crisis and has intensified more in the last couple of weeks.

For example, Turkey effectively rolled out the red carpet for the Russian travel sector, allowing flights from Russian carriers into the likes of Istanbul, Antalya, and others.

Western alliances such as SkyTeam have placed a suspension on Aeroflot due to the crisis, with oneworld also following suit with S7 Airlines.

On the manufacturer front, Boeing has removed 141 Russian aircraft from its order book in response to sanctions, with Airbus’ CEO Guillaume Faury confirming that the planemaker will be moving away from Russian titanium.

Within the political sphere, the U.S Government revealed that Belarussian carrier Belavia have violated U.S export control laws on at least seven of their aircraft.

It also seems that the West has put as much pressure on global leaders as possible in regards to sanctions, with this potentially fizzling out in Asia.

For example, the Malaysian government is hoping to secure direct Moscow-Kuala Lumpur flights despite the ongoing conflict, which has caused a lot of questioning from the West.


It remains clear that the sanctions on Russia are working, especially if for once the country is actually acknowledging it somewhat.

Pure denial has been a common theme in the Putin regime, which is why it came as surprise when this document revealed that the damage to the sector is being acknowledged.

Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see how much further the aviation sector is going to collapse in the country, and how Putin will be able to fill such an impossible gap.



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