Russian airlines have started stripping planes for spares amid a parts shortage, Reuters reported.
State-owned Aeroflot is dismantling parts of some Boeing and Airbus planes, a source told Reuters.
The sanctions mean Russian airlines are struggling to buy parts to service Western-built planes.
Russian state-owned airline Aeroflot has started removing parts from working planes to ease a shortage of spare parts caused by Western sanctions, Reuters reported.
At least one near-new Airbus A350 and a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100, along with a few Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, are among the planes cannibalized, a source told the news agency.
Russian carriers have had their access to spare parts restricted by Western sanctions introduced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which hampers their ability to maintain their aircraft.
Aeroflot relies heavily on Western-made Airbus and Boeing aircraft, but is prohibited from buying parts on international markets. It is among several airlines that have started removing spare parts from working planes, Reuters reported, citing four unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Aeroflot did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Aeroflot’s fleet includes 59 Boeing planes, including 777s and 737s, and 119 Airbus models, including seven A350s and 64 A320s, according to figures from its website. The airline currently operates five Sukhoi Superjet 100s and has another 100 on order through 2026.
In June, the Kremlin advised airlines to use parts from their own planes to service foreign-built jets with the aim of flying those jets until at least 2025.
Reuters analysis of FlightRadar data suggests up to 50 Aeroflot planes have been grounded since late July.
Analysts have warned that sanctions could soon have an impact the operating capacity of the Russian aviation industry.
In June, Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, warned that Russia might have to start cannibalizing jets to keep operating. “It’s very dangerous,” said Ky Reuters at the time.
As part of the Russian government’s aviation development plan, it hopes to replace its commercial fleet with up to 1,000 Russian-made aircraft by 2030, Kommersant reported.
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