All three major aircraft manufacturers, Airbus, Boeing and Embraer, have pulled back all services from Russia since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Boeing and Airbus account for almost two-thirds of the Russian fleet – 332 Boeing and 304 Airbus aircraft.
Sabre, which acts as Aeroflot’s online booking agent, will no longer allow customers to book seats.
After the EU placed sanctions on Russia, Russian airlines were prohibited from buying aircraft, spares and equipment from EU companies. Airbus has decided that it would not be able to sell aircraft and parts to Russian airlines.
"In line with international sanctions now in place, Airbus has suspended support services to Russian airlines, as well as the supply of spare parts to the country. Services provided by the Airbus Engineering Centre in Russia (ECAR) have also been suspended pending further review."Airbus
Around 340 Airbus aircraft and 230 Airbus Helicopters are in service in Russia. Airbus Helicopter accounts for 47% of helicopters in Russia.
The US planemaker Boeing has also announced the temporary closure of its Kyiv office in addition to the suspension of its pilot training activities in Russia. Boeing has decided to suspend the supply of parts and maintenance support for Russian airlines. Around 300 Boeing aircraft are in service in Russia.
"We have suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed our office in Kyiv. We are also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines. As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region.”Boeing
The sanctions will block the delivery of new planes to Russian airlines this year. Boeing was scheduled to deliver 25 Boeing 737 MAX jets alone to Utair. In total, Russian airlines were expecting the delivery of 37 aircraft this year. Russia's flag carrier Aeroflot also has a backlog of 13 Airbus A350 widebodies. These sanctions will leave Russian aviation more and more isolated.
Following Airbus and Boeing, Embraer has also confirmed that it will suspend the supply of parts and aircraft to Russia. Two Russian airlines, S7 Airlines and Pegas Fly, operate the Embraer jets. Multiple private jet and charter operators also use the Brazilian planemaker's business jets.
"Embraer is closely monitoring the evolving situation and has been complying, and will continue to comply, with the international sanctions imposed on Russia and certain regions of Ukraine by suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for customers affected by sanctions."Embraer spokesperson
S7 Airlines operates a fleet of 17 Embraer E170s, whereas Pegas Fly operates six of the larger E190 jets. Embraer business jets are in service with several Russian charter operators, including Sirius-Aero, RusJet and PremierAvia.
In addition, S7 Airlines also provides MRO services to Embraer aircraft through its subsidiary, S7 Technics. The subsidiary has a line maintenance facility at six destinations in Russia, including Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Tolmachevo, Vladivostok, Yakutsk and Irkutsk.
In addition to the aircraft manufacturers, the German maintenance group Lufthansa Technik has also stopped serving Russian airlines.
Leasing Company to Repossess Planes
The EU sanctions announced on 27 February require European leasing companies to terminate their financial links to Russia within 30 days. Those who lease aircraft to Russian operators must repossess their owned aircraft, which is a task made increasingly difficult by airspace restrictions and legal procedures.
Western leasing firms will attempt to repossess jets operated by Russian airlines, with 515 planes leased from foreign companies, according to the aviation and air travel data company Cirium.
Sabre cuts ties with Aeroflot
On Thursday, Sabre, the World's largest ticket booking software provider, said that it had terminated its tie with Aeroflot, cutting off Russia’s ability to book flights on its own flag carrier. Sabre provides flight reservations, passenger services, operations, network planning and management systems to airlines.
Sabre said it was taking "immediate steps" to remove Aeroflot from its global distribution system (GDS). The system uses software networks to distribute airline tickets.
"Sabre has been monitoring the evolving situation in Ukraine with increasing concern. From the beginning, our primary focus has been the safety of our team members in the impacted region, as well as doing our part to support the much-needed relief efforts. We are complying and will continue to comply with sanctions imposed against Russia.”Sean Menke, CEO of Sabre
The termination of the agreement with Sabre will also impact Aeroflot's domestic operation. However, Aeroflot said that it would continue to carry passengers.
Amadeus cuts ties with Russian Airlines
Alongside, Sabre, Amadeus IT Group has also suspended the distribution of the state-backed airlines' fares. The Spanish IT Group provides flight-booking software for S7 and Ural Airlines. The tech company also said that it is in the process of winding down new commercial projects in Russia.
“We will not sign any new contracts in Russia and we continue to evaluate our existing portfolio of work in Russia in parallel. We can confirm that we have begun suspending the distribution of Aeroflot fares in our systems. At the same time, we continue to assess and evaluate the potential impact of international sanctions imposed on Russia and any counter-measures by Russia.”
Amadeus IT Group spokesperson
The End of Russian Aviation?
These measures will severely cripple and isolate Russia’s commercial aviation sector. If the sanctions and restrictions prolong, it will severely impact the ability of Russian airlines and the majority of planes will be grounded in Russia.
Russia’s aviation industry accounted for about 6% of flights worldwide last year.