Increasing Safety Incidents for Poorly Maintained Russian Aircrafts

Russia’s Commercial Aviation Under Threat: The Increasing Number of Flight Safety Incidents and the Impact of Economic Sanctions

In September 2023, a Ural Airlines Airbus A320 passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing in an open Siberian field. The accompanying image was provided by AFP via Getty Images.

According to the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC), flight safety incidents in Russia more than doubled last year. The number of incidents increased from 37 in 2022 to 81 in 2023. The center suspects that there are even more unreported cases. The economic sanctions from the West have led to a lack of proper parts and equipment for airlines to maintain their aircraft, which has made it difficult for Russian airlines to maintain their planes to proper standards, according to JACDEC founder and CEO Jan-Arwed Richter.

Russian aviation analyst Andrei Menshenin noted that the sanctions affect essential aspects of the country’s commercial aviation. He mentioned that almost all types of aircraft used in Russian commercial aviation have been affected. In order to keep the planes operational, Russia had to resort to questionable means, including bringing over $14 million of US-made aircraft parts into the country via the black market in 2022, despite the risks associated with such methods. Recent incidents include two Boeing 777s operated by Red Wings experiencing technical issues that left hundreds of tourists stranded in Turkey and a Ural Airlines Airbus A320 needing an emergency landing in Siberia when its hydraulic systems failed.

Business Insider was unable to receive comment from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency representatives outside regular business hours.

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