Russia starts stripping airliners for spare parts

STORY: Russia is taking drastic steps to keep its airliners flying.

Existing jets are being stripped for spare parts to use on other planes.

That’s because sanctions mean Russia can no longer get new parts from Western countries.

One source says at least one Airbus A350 is being disassembled.

That’s an almost brand new plane.

Equipment is also reportedly being taken from some Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s operated by Aeroflot.

Such moves would be in line with advice from Moscow in June.

Officials said airlines should cannibalise planes to keep others flying through at least 2025.

Most of Russia’s airline fleet consists of Western jets.

Aeroflot has about 80% Boeings and Airbuses.

But even locally made aircraft depend on imported parts.

The source says at least one such - a Sukhoi Superjet 100 - is also now being taken apart.

For now, plenty of planes are available for stripping, as Russian airlines are flying fewer international routes.

However, modern jets require constant maintenance and upgrading.

Experts say that will make it increasingly hard for Russia to keep its planes in the air.