As Russia’s world narrows with sweeping sanctions, it’s about to take the inevitable step of making about 100 state-of-the-art Airbus and Boeing airliners virtually worthless. The state aviation authority Rosaviatsia has issued production certificates to five Russian companies to start making bootleg parts for the aircraft and more are expected to be approved shortly according to aviacononline. So far, the parts approved are cabin items like seats and galley equipment but even the installation of an unapproved seat can cancel the airworthiness certificate of an aircraft in the rest of the world.
The website says it’s just a matter of time before flight-critical components will need replacement and the few countries still willing to sell certified parts run out of spares. China has refused to sell parts to Russia, leaving India and Turkey as the main potential sources. As the maintenance needs of the complex jets grow, the loss of traceability of parts will render them unflyable anywhere but Russia and the leasing companies (and their insurers) will be left holding the bag.