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Russian airlines start stripping old jets for parts as sanctions continue
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Russian airlines, including state-controlled Aeroflot, are stripping jetliners to secure spare parts they can no longer buy abroad because of Western sanctions, four industry sources told Reuters.
The steps are in line with advice Russia's government provided in June for airlines to use some aircraft for parts to ensure the remainder of foreign-built planes can continue flying at least through 2025.
Sanctions imposed on Russia after it sent its troops into Ukraine in late February have prevented its airlines from obtaining spare parts or undergoing maintenance in the West.
Aviation experts have said that Russian airlines would be likely to start taking parts from their planes to keep them airworthy, but these are the first detailed examples.
At least one Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 and an Airbus A350, both operated by Aeroflot, are currently grounded and being disassembled, one source familiar with the matter said.
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The source declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The Airbus A350 is almost brand new, the source said.
Most of Russia's fleet of aircraft consists of Western passenger jets.
Equipment was being taken from a couple of Aeroflot's Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, as the carrier needs more spare parts from those models for its other Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, the source said.
The Russian Ministry of Transport and Aeroflot did not reply to requests for comment.