The Russian government is pulling old planes out of storage as foreign sanctions prevent them from repairing their current fleet.

UAC paid to restore old planes

The Russian government is allocating subsidies to the Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to restore 11 planes currently kept in storage. The aircraft in question are:

two Ilyushin Il-96 widebody airliners

Eight Tupolev Tu-204/214 narrowbody jets

One Antonov An-124 freighter

Tupolev Tu-214 Russia
a Tupolev Tu-214 owned by the Russian Government | © AIN

The money is being put towards making the planes airworthy again, and in some cases, research is being done to replace foreign-made parts with Russian ones. US and EU sanctions mean that Russia can no longer import aircraft parts or spares from abroad. Some of the funding will be put towards upgrading the systems on the Tu-214. The planes are expected to enter service no later than 2024.

Russian news outlet Vesti says the money will come in the form of a “property contribution” to UAC’s parent company Rostec. The amount being invested has not been specified.

Russia’s Aircraft Woes

In the wake of crippling sanctions, Russia has been scrambling to keep its deteriorating fleet in the air. The measures, imposed in response to the Ukrainian conflict, prevent the sale of aviation services to Russia, including spares and repairs. Russia’s fleets of Airbus and Boeing planes have taken the first hit. A recent report by the Ministry of Transport predicted that Russia would have to start cannibalising its fleet for parts by the end of this year if the sanctions remain in place.

Russia SSJ100 Sukhoi Super Jet 100 Rossiya
Russia’s SSJ100 fleets are in peril | © Stanislav

But it’s not just the foreign planes that have been causing issues. Russia’s very own Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (SSJ100) has also felt the strain. The aircraft’s engines are made in collaboration with French firm Safran, who will no longer provide spare parts or repairs on the Russian plane. An industry source predicted that half of the planes could end up grounded before the end of the year. Russia has been developing a variant of the SSJ that can be made domestically, but the project is not expected to be operational until 2024.

Do you think Russia will be able to keep its fleets operational? Let us know your insights in the comments below!


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