In Russia, Western planes are falling apart | MarketingwithAnoy

And Airbus A320-232 with the tail number YU-APH made its first flight on December 13, 2005. Since then, the aircraft has clocked millions of miles, flying routes for Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, Bingo Airways and Syphax Airlines, before being taken over in 2014 by Air Serbia, the Eastern European country’s national flagship. .

For eight years, YU-APH flew without any problems – until it landed at 22:37 on 25 May 2022 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. It had flown in from Belgrade and was to take off again on a late night return within an hour. But there was a problem: the pilot had reported a problem with the plane’s engine housing, which needed to be fixed. The supplier of the wrecked part, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace, reportedly refused to resolve the issue by referring to sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The plane was stuck. (Collins Aerospace did not respond to a request for comment.)

It took six days before the issue was resolved and the A320 left Moscow for Belgrade. Air Serbia also did not respond to a request for comment on how the engine housing was replaced or fixed and who manufactured the part. YU-APH managed to remedy its mistake, but there are growing international concerns that planes flying into, from and around Russia could become a security risk, as sanctions prevent them from being properly maintained. Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, said at a recent conference that he felt the situation was “very uncertain”. “In six months – who knows? In a year – who knows?” he said.

At the end of May, there were 876 aircraft in the Russian commercial jet fleet, according to data provided by Ascend of Cirium, an aviation consulting firm – a drop from 968 aircraft at the end of February. Most of these were made by Airbus or Boeing aircraft, both of which stopped supplying spare parts to Russian airlines to comply with the sanctions rules. “They are not allowed to get any part from Boeing or Airbus,” said Bijan Vasigh, an economics professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “The transfer of any part or technical expertise to Russia is prohibited.” The problem is that aircraft need constant maintenance, repairs and replacements.

Airplanes are not simple things, with a cornucopia of parts assembled to keep passengers afloat. And due to the high effort of the flight, some parts need to be replaced very regularly. Anyone who has ever seen a plane land from the ground or an observation deck will know that stopping a heavy metal pipe is a challenge. Tires are among the hardest hit parts of an airplane, burning rubber when the brakes are activated, with puffs of smoke often coming from wheels – and lots of slippery, black paths left on the asphalt. Tires are changed every 120 to 400 landings a plane makes. Domestic flights with short domestic routes could do four trips a day, which means that the wheels have to be replaced every three months. Boeing stopped delivering the Russian market on March 1, 113 days ago. Airbus followed a day later. “They’re going to wear out,” says Max Kingsley Jones, senior consultant at Ascend by Cirium, about the wheels. “They can not buy replacement tires: it is a potential risk.”

Worn tires would simply be the first indication of decay. Aircraft are powered by computer systems that require regular maintenance, with some systems programmed to shut down after a number of flight cycles or calendar days and reset. It includes aircraft engines and auxiliary power units, the electricity generator, which pumps compressed air through the cabin during flight and drives the firing of the engine when the aircraft is first switched on. “Some of these parts are life-limiting,” Kingsley Jones says. “They literally have to be taken off the plane and replaced when they reach a certain age or a certain number of flights.” Despite the stereotype of driving old, dilapidated planes into the ground, Russia’s fleet can be compared to those in much of the rest of the world. The average age of one Russian-powered aircraft are 10.5 years old, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. The age of the average passenger plane worldwide is 10.3 yearsaccording to management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

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