Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia’s state conglomerate Rostec, has said that he believes Western aircraft manufacturers will “never” deliver planes to Russia again.
Chemezov’s remarks follow the recently announced ambitious plans to vastly ramp up production of domestic aircraft in the wake of Western sanctions imposed due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In June 2022, Russia’s Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov revealed plans for more than 1000 new passenger aircraft to be manufactured in Russia, all of which will be produced by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). UAC is a subsidiary of Rostec created by consolidating major Russian aircraft manufacturers, including Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Tupolev.
“Foreign aircraft will drop out of the fleet,” Chemezov said in a written statement, according to Reuters.
“We believe that this process is irreversible and Boeing and Airbus planes will never be delivered to Russia,” he continued.
The sanctions, which were imposed on Russia following the start of the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, prevent Western companies from delivering any new aircraft or parts to Russia. However, with the fleets of many of the country’s airlines being almost entirely composed of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, Russian carriers have been left in a difficult position.
Despite Russia’s vastly relaxed aviation laws, which allow the use of “grey parts” and pacts with other sanctioned countries such as Iran, Russian airlines are struggling to keep their aircraft in the air, cannibalizing some planes to keep the bulk of their fleets operational, numerous reports have suggested.
The ambitious plan to manufacture more than 1000 aircraft in the coming decade was followed by Aeroflot’s order of 339 domestically produced aircraft, the largest one in Russian history.