In September 2023, a Ural Airlines Airbus A320 passenger plane made an emergency landing in an open Siberian field. The accompanying image was provided by AFP via Getty Images. Unfortunately, flight safety incidents in Russia have been on the rise, with the number of incidents increasing from 37 in 2022 to 81 in 2023. The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) suspects that there may be even more unreported cases due to the economic sanctions imposed by the West. These sanctions have led to a lack of proper parts and equipment for airlines to maintain their aircraft, making it difficult for Russian airlines to keep their planes operational to proper standards.
Russian aviation analyst Andrei Menshenin notes that these sanctions have affected essential aspects of the country’s commercial aviation. Almost all types of aircraft used in Russian commercial aviation have been affected. To keep the planes operational, Russia has had to resort to questionable means. In 2022, over $14 million of US-made aircraft parts were brought into the country via the black market. However, these methods come with risks. Recent incidents include two Boeing 777s operated by Red Wings experiencing technical issues that left hundreds of tourists stranded in Turkey and a Ural Airlines Airbus A320 needing an emergency landing in Siberia when its hydraulic systems failed.
Despite our attempts, we were unable to receive comment from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency representatives outside regular business hours.