Aeroflot MRO Subsidiary Replaces Landing Gear On A330s

Aeroflot A330
Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Russian airlines are continuing to maintain foreign-made commercial airliners despite Western sanctions that banned spare parts delivery to the country a year ago in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s largest carrier, government-owned Aeroflot, reported on March 20 that it had conducted the first in-country replacement of landing gears on its Airbus A330 widebodies. The airline’s MRO subsidiary—Aeroflot Technics—replaced nose and main gears on three aircraft of the type during the past two months. The work has been done in the company’s hangar at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport, which serves as a historical home base for Aeroflot. Such replacements are done every 10 years or every 2,000 flight cycles, the provider explained.

“The work has been done in strict compliance with the type’s maintenance guide,” Aeroflot said in a statement.

The airline confirmed to Aviation Week that its MRO provider planned to perform landing gear replacement on other A330s from the airline’s fleet in due time and was capable of doing the same repairs for other Russian operators of the type. 

Aeroflot operates 12 A330-330s, which were leased in 2008-2012. The carrier bought eight of them back from the Irish lessors in May 2022. These widebodies are also operated by Russian carriers IFly (six aircraft) and NordWind (five).

Aeroflot Technics, which was known as A-Technics before January 2023, had pre-war approvals from the aviation authorities of Bermuda and the European Union to maintain Boeing 747, 777 and 737 and Airbus A350/330/321/320/A319 aircraft. However, the Western certificates were revoked shortly after the war in Ukraine started. The provider now works under Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) FAP-285 certificate, which enables it to service Airbus and Boeing jets with Russian registration. The company also received Rosaviatsia FAP-21J approval to design engineering components for both Russian and Western-made aircraft.

The company refused to explain to Aviation Week from where it took spare landing gears for A330s and other aircraft parts. However, it performed 54 C-checks in 2022, including 19 maintenance checks on 777s, 747s and A330 widebodies. Aeroflot also said that its provider had recently made a first in-country two-year C-check on the airline’s youngest type—the A350 aircraft.

Russia transport minister Vitaly Savelyev mentioned last week that the country’s carriers could maintain their Western-made fleet for 10 more years despite the sanctions due to grey logistics and parallel import of spare parts.