A number of Russian airlines are free to import spare parts for the Western aircraft they operate despite the sanctions. Photo/Evgeny Sofiychuk/TASS
WASHINGTON – Russian airlines are free to import spare parts for Western aircraft they operate despite sanctions designed to cut off the flow of key equipment.
Reuters revealed this anomaly in a report on Wednesday (23/8/2023) citing customs data.
According to a Reuters tally, Ural Airlines, Norwdind Airlines, S7, Aeroflot and others imported parts worth USD 1.2 billion (over Rp 18.3 trillion) from third parties between May 2022 and June 2023.
The true value of the imports is likely to be higher as the report says its calculation only takes into account direct shipments to Russian airlines and their maintenance units. This amount does not include shipments to other companies in Russia.
Parts suppliers for Russian airlines are located in China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
These essential parts include devices made by US companies; Northrop Grumman, as well as cabin pressure valve, cockpit view, landing gear and water filter.
Those parts are critical to keeping Russia’s 541 Boeing, Airbus and other Western-built planes airworthy.
Russian airlines have about 150 passenger aircraft in their fleet.
The country’s aviation sector was one of the first to be hit by Western sanctions and the economic impact of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.