According to a Kremlin statement, President Vladimir Putin signed a law as part of the anti-sanction measures of the Government. The said law will allow ‘Russian Airlines’ to register planes if leased to foreign companies in Russia, where they will be issued local airworthiness certificates or seize those planes.
The bill will allow Russian airlines to maintain their planes leased abroad and operate on domestic routes. On the contrary, they are making it complicated for foreign countries carriers to take back their planes without authorization from the Russian Government.
‘US and European sanctions imposed on Russia necessitate leasing companies to take back all planes they leased from Russian airlines at the end of the month.
The Manufacturers of Western Aircraft such as ‘Aero bus’ and ‘Boeing’ have already cut off the access of Russian airlines. Instead of buying spare parts from Russia, they need to maintain and safely fly their planes. According to ‘Aviation Analytics firm Cirium provided data, Russian airlines function 305 ‘Airbus Planes’ and 332 Boeing planes.
Russia also has 83 foreign Jets made by Western Manufacturers such as Embraer, Bombardier, and ATR and built only 144 aircraft from the active fleets of Russian airlines in Russia.
The data provided by Cirium shows that 85% of those foreign-made planes leasing companies put their combined value @ $12.4 billion.
It was unclear how Russia would seize the leased companies that could take control of those planes while they remained on Russian soil. Additional sanctions that block Russian planes from flying to most other countries have restricted its ‘Airline Industry’ to ‘domestic flights.’
‘The Leased Companies’ have not acted in response to an appeal for the mention of the actions of Russia even though it plans to seize planes. It is uncertain if they do not want to return those planes. Those planes will not have access to spare parts. They will not have valid airworthiness certificates accepted by Western airlines.
Richard Aboulafia, managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory, said they would no longer support these jets with parts or maintenance. It is a genuine crisis in case of losing their ‘Airworthiness Certificates,’ which can take place if they do not keep appropriate records, or especially they cannibalize it piecemeal.
By losing access to 85% of its foreign-made aircraft, it would destroy its financial system.
Charles Lichfield, Deputy Director, Geo Economics Center at the Atlantic Council, said that Russia was the largest nation by landmass globally. It was more than ‘twice the size of the continental United States. It requires a feasible Airline Industry to keep its economy running.
He said that it was an important part of the Russian economy. They want to maintain a basic national industry. The Russians don’t fly as much as the Americans. They do not fly to Siberia on vacation.
Its ‘Aviation Industry’ is an essential link for business. It is so in case of, not only for international flights but also for domestic servicing of its energy sector, due to the requirement for transportation engineers, other workers, and equipment to and from its far-away oil fields.
The airline analyst and consultant Robert Mann said that aviation was an incredible enabler of economic growth, domestically and internationally. They take it back to a quasi-agrarian economy without it, thus trying to run a rail network.
Betsy Snyder, a credit analyst, said that Russia did not need all the seizing planes. She covered aircraft leasing companies at ‘Standard & Poor’s.’ the economic hit from sanctions would greatly reduce the need for air travel.
She said that the Russian economy was sinking. No one would go ‘in and out’ of Russia. As Russian citizens are losing their money, they have no money for prospective to travel. It could be that the airlines would be a much smaller business.
The issue raises the likelihood of it being able to cannibalize many of the seized planes for parts.
Mann said that if they did not have the parts manufacturing authority, they should not do it themselves. They don’t know what used standards are. He wanted to know whether they had got the interior features right. Further, he examined if it would work as designed when they put it in a turbine section of an engine.
Mann said that when a part gets the end of its designed effectiveness, known as green time, an airline had to choose between flying parts. They should have replaced them for safety reasons or for stealing parts from other planes.
He said they could go through that process as long as they have planes that have green time. As they run out of planes, their network gets smaller, and they can fly fewer hours every day until they don’t have an airline.
Aboulafia said that Russia would no longer have any viable airline industry a year from now. He added that its airline industry could soon find itself somewhere between the heavily sanctioned industries in Iran and North Korea. So even keeping the planes will not keep the Russian airline industry going.
Let us know whether a country as big as Russia can live without a modern and viable airline industry. Aboulafia said that was a thesis that it had never tested. However, it was it’s about to be so.