Aeroflot has instructed its pilots to deactivate its braking systems on nine of its aircraft, which will instead rely solely on reverse thrust for deceleration. The decision comes as the airline continues to struggle with worn-out parts which are not fit to use, exacerbated by sanctions that have restricted the company’s access to legitimate and reliable spare parts. The affected aircraft include five Boeing 777s, two airbus A321s, one Airbus A320 and one Airbus A330-300. While thrust reversers are typically used in conjunction with brakes during landing, relying solely on reverse thrust requires significantly extended runway space. Members of Aeroflot’s flight operations department have reportedly expressed concerns about this approach, highlighting the notable increase in the risk of overruns.
At least 400 Russian tourists have been stranded in Turkey following a series of malfunctions within Red Wings Airlines’ Boeing 777 fleet. According to a company statement, breakdowns have simultaneously rendered two out of the company’s three 777s inoperable. To address this issue and the resulting backlog of disruptions, the airline is considering borrowing additional aircraft from other Russian airlines in order to repatriate the stranded passengers.
Cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr has reportedly submitted a proposal to the government of Canada regarding the return of its An-124-100 aircraft. The plane has been grounded at Toronto airport since February 2022, following its prohibition from leaving Canadian territory due to sanctions imposed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously announced the government’s intention to transfer the aircraft to Ukraine, however Volga-Dnepr has now formally notified Canadian authorities with a request to resolve the matter in accordance with historical agreements on mutual asset protection, signed by Canada and the USSR in 1989.
Aeroflot CEO Sergei Alexandrovsky has voiced criticism against Russia’s domestic fleet development programme, claiming that current plans lack adequate provision for long-haul aircraft and will not be cost effective. Alexandrovsky also emphasised the industry’s need for a twin-engine long-haul aircraft, which would prove crucial for flights to Siberia and the Far East. Vladimir Putin has similarly challenged Russia’s domestic manufacturers to meet the rising demand for aircraft in the country, framing the current situation as an opportunity to gain strategic ground against foreign competitors.
As part of its efforts to strengthen aviation ties with various African nations, Russia has entered an airworthiness agreement with Zimbabwe. The arrangement was formalised between Alexander Neradko, the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, and Eliya Chingosho, the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
AeroXplorer – Aeroflot Deactivates Brakes on Nine Aircraft, Relies Heavily on Reverse Thrust (English)
The Moscow Times – Hundreds of Russian Tourists Stranded in Turkey After Planes Break Down (English)
Interfaks – Volga-Dnepr offers to peacefully resolve Canada An-124 dispute (Russian)
TASS – Aeroflot needs a Russian twin-engine long-haul aircraft (Russian)
Rambler – Putin tells Russian aircraft manufacturers to fill the vacant maket niche (Russian)
AEX – Russia and Zimbabwe agree to airworthiness cooperation (Russian)