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. This incident was just one of many that occurred in Russian commercial aviation due to economic sanctions from the West. According to the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC), flight safety incidents in Russia more than doubled last year, with the number of incidents increasing from 37 in 2022 to 81 in 2023. JACDEC founder and CEO Jan-Arwed Richter suspects that there are even more unreported cases due to the lack of proper parts and equipment for airlines to maintain their aircraft.
The sanctions have had a significant impact on Russian aviation, as almost all types of aircraft used in commercial aviation have been affected. To keep the planes operational, Russia has resorted to questionable means, including bringing in US-made aircraft parts via the black market in 2022. However, these methods come with their own 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.
Russian aviation analyst Andrei Menshenin noted that these sanctions affect essential aspects of the country’s commercial aviation industry, including maintenance and safety standards. Business Insider was unable to receive comment from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency representatives outside regular business hours.