Boeing Halts Support For Russian Airlines
Boeing has suspended support of Russian airlines operating its products, including spare parts sales and engineering services, adding to previously announced pauses affecting its Russian and Ukrainian operations, the company confirmed March 1.
The move comes one day after Boeing said it paused pilot training in Moscow and customer-support activity in its Kyiv offices and deals a fresh blow to operators of some 370 Boeing aircraft in Russia.
Russia’s fleet of nearly 2,200 commercial aircraft includes 369 Boeing models, Aviation Week Fleet Discovery shows. Most of them—241—are 737-family variants, including 205 737 Next Generation models. The country’s operators also have 56 777s, including 41 777-300ERs. Russian operators also have about 350 Airbus models in their fleets.
Sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will re-shape Russian operators’ fleets and their ability to secure spare parts and other aftermarket support.
Most of Russian’s foreign-built aircraft are leased, including 95% of its combined Airbus and Boeing fleet, Fleet Discovery shows. Many lessors, including those based in countries that have imposed sanctions, are moving to repossess their Russia-based aircraft. Sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) have given lessors until the end of March to end all business with Russian customers. They also have banned Russian aircraft from their airspace and put limits on spare parts sales. Other countries, including Canada and the U.K., have introduced similar sanctions.
U.S.-imposed sanctions have not targeted the aviation industry as directly. Russian operators were not initially banned from U.S. airspace, for instance, and—unlike the EU sanctions—the U.S. has not banned aircraft sales and service support.
Boeing opened its aviation training and research facility in Moscow’s Skolkovo Innovation Center in 2016. It has two 737NG full-flight simulators and one 777 simulator. The center also instructs maintenance and flight operations personnel.
According to Boeing, over 16,000 pilots have been trained in the Skolkovo facility and have logged over 71,500 hours on its flight simulators. Boeing VP for Russia, Ukraine and the CIS Sergey Kravchenko said in 2021 that the training center had contracts with 19 airlines from the region. This includes Aeroflot’s subsidiary LCC Pobeda, Russian leisure charter carrier Azur Air and Moscow-based cargo carrier Atran.
Opened in 1998, the Boeing Design Center (BDC) in Moscow worked in tandem with a similar facility in Kyiv to provide in-service support for customers in the region.
“Customer requests submitted from anywhere in the world during European working hours are assigned to a service engineer in Moscow or Kyiv,” Boeing said in a March 2021 article it wrote on the operation.
Boeing also is a joint venture partner with Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA in a titanium production facility that supplies major airframe and engine manufacturers. Boeing declines to comment specifically on the VSMPO partnership.