With the official parts and spares markets currently closed to Russian airlines, some carriers are looking for alternative solutions.
Earlier this week it transpired that Aeroflot is sending some of its A330s to Iran for maintenance. Almost simultaneously, it became public knowledge that people linked to S7 Airlines, Russia’s largest private airline, had acquired a controlling stake in a company producing parts and components for the aerospace and defence industry.
The inference is that S7 has secured control of the Berdsk Electromechanical Factory (BEMZ) (“АО Бердский электромеханический завод”- БЭМЗ), in order to manufacture its own components going forward.
Russian news agency Interfax declared that an S7 subsidiary called OOO Engineering (ООО “Инжиниринг”) had purchased 22,66% of Berdsk Electromechanical Factory, while an individual called Sergey Savchenkov, a former director of S7 Space (also part of the S7 Group), had acquired another 59.52% of the capital.
The Berdsk Electromechanical Factory, located in the city of the same name near Novossibirsk in Siberia, was founded in 1959 and specializes in precision manufacturing of parts and components for the aerospace industry. The Russian space agency, Roskosmos, is reportedly one of the organizations that works with the acquired company.
In January 2023, S7 temporarily grounded its eight-strong Airbus A321 fleet and, while the airline said it was due to planning and operational rearrangements, other voices on Russian social media channels pointed to trouble with the engines.