The Islamic Republic of Iran has stepped in as a vital lifeline for Aeroflot Russian Airlines, providing aircraft repair for an Airbus A330 jet. Oh, the irony.
Aeroflot Sends A330 To Iran For Maintenance Work
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, western nations placed strict sanctions on the Russian Federation. Those included prohibitions on airline parts that presented a dangerous calculus: cutting off airlines like Aeroflot from parts would eventually render their fleets inoperable. How many passengers would that endanger in the meantime?
Aeroflot and other carriers responded by stealing leased jets, cutting off payments and re-registering them in Russia. From time to time deals were made, but hundreds of aircraft remain stolen and with the war now over a year old, likely permanently unable to return to service outside Russia due to inadequate maintenance records.
- King Vlad Annexes A Fleet of Stolen Jets Into The Arms Of Mother Russia
- Russian Airlines Decide To Just Keep Leased Aircraft…
- The Problems For Russian Airlines Are Just Beginning
- How Aeroflot Just Purchased Eight Airbus A330-300 Jets
In a move that is far more ironic than surprising, an Aeroflot A330-300 was tracked traveling to Tehran by Flightradar24. Asked about, Aeroflot issued the following statement:
“The maintenance of the Airbus A330 aircraft (in Iran) will be implemented by a provider for a wide range of work. The firm has all the necessary material resources, certificates and extensive experience, (while) the provider performs maintenance with a high quality level.”
The irony is that Iran itself is under intense sanctions and has been fighting to renew its fleet over the last decade. Iran must also smuggle in parts and clandestinely acquire aircraft (its latest fleet additions have represented South African or Armenian aircraft that have just “disappeared” over Iran).
So the country with strict sanctions against aircraft parts is providing servicing for a country with strict sanctions against aircraft parts. Where are the parts coming from? Sanctions are only as strong as their weakest link and with India, Turkey, Israel, and the Gulf States playing both sides in the Russian – Ukraine struggle, it would not surprise me if parts are flowing in from multiple nations.
Aeroflot has sent an Airbus A330-300 to Iran for maintenance work, an ironic sign of how weak the sanctions against the two nations actually are. On the one hand, I want to see the Aeroflot fleet remain airworthy in hopes it can return to international service after Russia loses the war. On the other hand, war will drag on if loopholes to sanctions are about as long as Persia.
image: Sergey Kustov