Despite Western sanctions that blocked the ability of Russian carriers to purchase spare parts for their Airbus and Boeing aircraft, from May 2022 to June 2023, air carriers managed to import equipment worth $1.2 billion, Reuters reports, citing customs statistics.
Equipment supplied included both vital components needed to keep the aircraft running—cabin pressure valves, cockpit displays, and landing gear—as well as household equipment—coffee makers, flight attendant phones, and toilet seats.
Spare parts were supplied to Russia through intermediaries in Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, China and Kyrgyzstan. These countries did not impose sanctions against Russia.
“At first there was a shock, no one knew what to do. After two or three months, new suppliers were found, and after six or nine months, quite a few alternatives appeared, which made it possible to reduce prices and delivery times,” said Oleg Panteleev, head of the AviaPort industry agency.
Before the war in Ukraine and the sanctions that followed it, Russian carriers relied on the services of international companies such as Germany’s Lufthansa Technik. When they stopped providing services, airlines turned to smaller organizations.
In April 2022, S7 Engineering, the service structure of S7, began to purchase spare parts from Air Rock Solutions from Moldova. The first batch consisted of filters for Airbus. Over the next 14 months, S7 purchased parts from Air Rock Solutions worth at least $1.23 million.
Ivan Melnikov, CEO of Air Rock Solutions, disagrees with this information. He said that spare parts from his company are purchased mainly by customers from the United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyzstan. “We are not interested in losing our local and international partners for the sake of short-term income,” he says.
Most of the parts that were purchased from Air Rock Solutions and ended up in Russia did indeed go through a difficult route and passed through the UAE or Kyrgyzstan. When asked if his clients were redirecting supplies to airlines in Russia, Melnikov did not answer.
Ural Airlines similarly received several navigation devices from the American company Northrop Grumman with high-tech laser gyroscopes. They were transported through the UAE with the help of Istikloliyat 20 and Kafolati Komil, as well as Skyparts FZCO, which was created in June 2022 in Dubai.
Skyparts manager Said Abdulloev told Reuters that he knows about sending the details. He confirmed that his company does business with Tajik organizations, including Istikloliyat 20. The manager denies information about deliveries to Russia.
Source: Moscow Times