Russian Airlines Expected to Begin Cannibalizing Western Airplanes for Spare Parts

International sanctions have been imposed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, significantly affecting the Russian aviation industry. Aeroflot and other Russian airlines are no longer allowed to travel internationally to most destinations, and several countries have barred Russian aircraft from utilising their airspace.

Furthermore, aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus have ceased supplying planes to Russia, as well as shipping replacement parts to Russian airlines. As a result, Russian airlines have decided to begin cannibalism in order to maintain the bulk of their fleet functioning.

Cannibalism of aircraft generally happens when a certain item is desperately needed and there are no other options for obtaining it. Aircraft require continual maintenance to keep them flying. A steady supply of replacement parts is required for routine maintenance such as changing tyres or examining engine blades. The loss of this supply might result in a reduction in fleet size, which has an impact on an airline’s operating capacity.

Cannibalism of aircraft is one answer to this problem. To allow a separate aircraft to fly, engineers will take a functional portion of one aircraft and replace a broken part in a different aircraft. Working parts are sometimes removed from scrapped aeroplanes since it is deemed unsustainable to cannibalise an aircraft that is still flying. To avoid the economic loss involved with cannibalising a fully functional plane, pieces from destroyed aircraft are occasionally used instead.

Because of Western nations’ import restrictions, which have stopped Boeing and Airbus from transferring replacement parts to Russia, Russian airlines will have to resort to fleet cannibalism. In order to maintain the safety of their fleet, they are effectively obtaining spare parts from current aircraft, which limits the fleet’s operating capacity since certain aircraft may become useless.

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