Airbus and Boeing pull out of Russia in major blow to country’s aviation industry

‘In line with international sanctions now in place, Airbus has suspended support services to Russian airlines,’ says planemaker

Helen Coffey
Thursday 03 March 2022 11:30 GMT
<p>Airbus has withdrawn support in Russia</p>

Airbus has withdrawn support in Russia

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Both Airbus and Boeing have withdrawn support from Russia’s aviation industry following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Boeing confirmed on Tuesday that it was suspending all parts, maintenance and technical support for planes in Russia, while Airbus followed suit on Wednesday.

The French planemaker said it would halt support for airlines such as Aeroflot, which uses a number of Airbus jets, such as the A320, the A330, and the A350.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

“Services provided by the Airbus Engineering Centre in Russia (ECAR) have also been suspended pending further review.”

It follows the decision taken by the UK, EU, US and Canada to ban all Russian owned and operated aircraft from their airspace.

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has been forced to cancel all flights to and from these nations as a result, as well as having to reroute flight paths to avoid their airspace.

Russia has retaliated in kind, with the abovementioned nations banned from its airspace.

Before the outbreak of war, Russian outbound flight bookings for March, April and May had recovered to 32 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, according to data from travel trends analyst ForwardKeys.

But the attack on Ukraine prompted an instant collapse in the market for Russian outbound travel. Destinations that suffered the highest immediate cancellation rates in the period 24-26 February were Cyprus (300 per cent), Egypt (234 per cent), Turkey (153 per cent), the UK (153 per cent), Armenia (200 per cent) and the Maldives (165 per cent).

Oligarchs have also been hit by the sanctions, with private jet traffic out of Russia dropping by 25 per cent in the last week.

Airspace bans are significantly limiting travel options for owners: “We’ve already seen a big drop in traffic in just three days,” Richard Koe of WingX, which tracks business flights, told Robb Report.

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