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In Russia, western planes are falling apart

Enlarge / An Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is preparing to land at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, in the Russian Federation in June 2022. (credit: SOPA Images | Getty)

An Airbus A320-232 with the tail number YU-APH made its first flight on December 13, 2005. Since then, the aircraft has clocked millions of miles, flying routes for Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, Bingo Airways, and Syphax Airlines before being taken over by Air Serbia, the Eastern European country’s national flag carrier, in 2014.

For eight years, YU-APH flew without any issues—until it landed at 10:37 pm on May 25, 2022, at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. It had flown in from Belgrade and was due to take off again on a late-night return within the hour. But there was a problem: The pilot had reported an issue with the plane’s engine casing that needed to be fixed. The supplier of the broken part, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace, reportedly refused to fix the problem, citing sanctions against Russia resulting from its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The plane was stuck. (Collins Aerospace did not respond to a request for comment.)

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