According to Russian news agencies, Russia’s aviation authority announced today that China is refusing to supply them with aircraft parts. Sanctions on selling aircraft parts to Russia had already been placed by the European Union, United States, and the United Kingdom. However, China had been seen as an ally of Russia and hadn’t set any restrictions until now.   

 

Airspace Bans

Many countries across EuropeAmerica and Asia have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. The airspace bans have caused longer flights due to having to reroute. The rerouting of flights results in extra flying time and, in turn, additional fuel costs and a larger carbon footprint. The need for extra aviation fuel also results in extra weight, which means fewer passengers or cargo can be transported per flight.

 

US Sanctions

The United States imposed similar sanctions on Russia, including aircraft parts and the termination of maintenance contracts. These sanctions will primarily affect Russia as their flag carrier, Aeroflot, has a fleet of American manufactured aircraft Boeing.

The US has recently joined the EU in banning its airspace to Russian airlines. The Biden administration said that they hope this will weaken Russia’s aviation system. President of the United States, Joe Biden, stated:

“I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding an additional squeeze on their economy.”

Abiding by the rules of the sanctions imposed by the EU and the US, Boeing and Airbus cancelled their maintenance support contracts with Russian-based airlines.  

It was reported by the President of the European Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, that three-quarters of Russia’s aviation fleet was made in either the European Union, the United States or Canada. The sanctions mean Russia won’t be able to purchase necessary parts, which could soon ground their fleet. 

 

Chart showing Aeroflot's aircraft orders from the past 22 years © ch-aviation
Chart showing Aeroflot’s aircraft orders from the past 22 years. | © ch-aviation

 

More details are yet to emerge about China’s refusal to supply aircraft parts to Russia. 

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