Russia cuts up Western planes to hoard spare parts

Aeroflot A350

Some modern aircraft are too sophisticated to be repairable with other parts. Russia thus begins to sacrifice planes to be able to keep other machines alive. Ultimately, Western sanctions will hurt the Russian aviation.

Sanctions are beginning to show their effects. With the war in Ukraine, the West banned its aircraft manufacturers from delivering new planes, as well as spare parts, to Russia. Neither are they allowed to repair planes flying for Russian companies. Many analysts then expected Russia to start sacrificing planes for spare parts. It is now official: Reuters reports the first examples of “cannibalised” planes.

A source told Reuters that a brand new Airbus A350 operated by Aeroflot was being dismantled to salvage parts. Several Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s are also reportedly being used for their parts. The majority of planes operated in Russia are Western machines. For Aeroflot, for example, 80% of the fleet are Boeings (134 planes) and Airbuses (146), according to the latest data available.

Even a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 flying with Aeroflot would be dismembered because the aircraft relies heavily on parts from abroad.

Replacing parts may not be sufficient to keep an aircraft airworthy. Newer planes, such as the Airbus A320neo and A350, and the Boeing 737 MAX and 787, feature more sophisticated technologies, which constantly need to be updated. With the sanctions, these updates are no longer accessible.

Ultimately, these sanctions will hurt Russian aviation. Until 2025, the government expects Aeroflot’s fleet to lose a third of its size.


  1. Maybe you could report on the response and quantities of aircraft which have been seized by the Russians from western Lessors. What have the leasing companies done to claim back their assets and how many were they able to secure before the Russians reacted to expropriate the aircraft?
    How much do the total claims against the lessees and the Russian government amount to?

  2. Russia is capable of making their own planes. The golden billion just losses more business and has a new competitor, that the other 7 billion will buy from.

  3. @Breckenridge H Caine Ridiculous. They are not able to build one new plane without western parts and electronics. They plan to revitalize the old Tu-204´s and Il-96´s with up to 5-men cockpits and mechanic controls. Russia is just a gas station with nuclear weapons. They´re lost, and you are, too.

  4. What you fail to realize that China makes all these so Russia have nothing to worry about at all since Russia and China relations will always be great.

  5. @Don Berto
    ”Russia is just a gas station with nuclear weapons.”

    Russia and China are world banks, mass producers among other things, that is why the parasitic west would like to bite into that. The difference being that when the west steals something they run out of that resource fast due to the self destructive nature.

    A normal human mentality is common sense, logic and self preservation, in this case when you make your own profit from hard work you don’t go around and waste it and turn it into dust. Majority in the west can’t even grasp a concept of this let alone utilize it. They (so as you) heavily rely on consumerism and the worst kind. Russia have nothing to worry about. It’s the other way around.

    ”They´re lost, and you are, too.”
    Just you kid, just you. Time to wake up. You are your own worst enemy, you don’t need others to blame for your own ignorance.


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