AirlineRatings.com. the world’s most respected airline safety rating site is no longer safety rating Russian airlines.
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Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas explains that “Russian airlines have run out of spare parts and are being forced to split their fleets into flying and grounded and cannibalize parts from the grounded planes.”
“Also, the insurance on the flying assets is now void,” Mr Thomas said.
“Last month the Russian government legalized the cannibalization of aircraft for parts and this is making experts nervous”
Website Poltitico.eu cited Richard Aboulafia, director of U.S.-based AeroDynamic Advisory, who raised safety concerns.
“I wouldn’t feel at all confident flying on a plane in a country that was no longer keeping public maintenance records and was subject to sanctions by the producer countries. I just wouldn’t,” he told the website.
Poltitico reported that “nine minor carriers stopped flying last year after having their permits pulled by regulator Rosaviatsiya, and three of those were directly linked to sanctions.”
Also last year Patrick Ky, the EU’s top aviation safety official, expressed concern that Russia is using Western-made planes without access to spare parts and proper maintenance, calling the situation “very unsafe.”
Mr Thomas added that last year “the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded its air safety rating for Russia, saying the country’s Federal Agency for Air Transport was not complying with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.”
Russia airlines fly Airbus and Boeing aircraft almost exclusively – all powered by western engine makers – and the airlines are turning to the black market for spares made by illegal manufacturers.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia had a very robust and respected airline system that spanned the globe. Aeroflot flew to 146 destinations in 52 countries.
Russian airlines have been forced to order the 215-seat TU-214, the new 175-seat MC21 and the 75-seat Sukhoi Superjet to replace their Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
However, it will be a number of years before these aircraft are delivered.