Russia announces dubious plans for aviation industry without Boeing and Airbus

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By most accounts, this is just another flight of fancy for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Wednesday, state-owned engineering firm Rostec announced that Russia’s aviation industry would use local parts to build 1,000 planes by 2030, ending its reliance on Russian-made Boeing and Airbus planes. foreign. good luck with thatinformed analysts said.

Not ready for take off

Russia’s announcement is a bit like shouting “you’re not firing me, I’m quitting”. Airbus and Boeing, the world’s two largest commercial aircraft makers, already stopped supplying aircraft parts and services to Russian airlines months ago in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Since then, things have gotten so desperate that Rosaviatsia, Russia’s aviation authority, has allowed Russian companies to manufacture contraband parts for planes; and some airlines, including state-controlled Aeroflot, stripped old or out-of-service aircraft for spares.

None of this inspires confidence that Russia will soon have a full-fledged national aviation supply chain:

  • Foreign planes, mostly from Airbus and Boeing, account for 95% of passenger traffic in Russia. In their history, Russia and the Soviet Union built only 2,000 large commercial jetliners, aerospace analyst and managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory Richard Aboulafia told Reuters (Boeing and Airbus built 951). ‘last year).
  • “Even when they could get semiconductors and other vital components from the West, they had great difficulty producing more than a handful of jets,” Aboulafia said, adding that the goal of Russia to build 1,000 airliners by 2030 is “fundamentally impossible”.

Altitude loss: Yet Russia’s decision to go it alone will have an impact beyond its borders. Earlier this year, aviation analyst Dhierin Bechai identified a short-term Russian exposure of 50 planes worth $3.5 billion between Airbus and Boeing. In July, Boeing cut its industry-wide jet demand forecast, forecasting 41,170 aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, down from 43,610 and representing 1,540 fewer expected sales in Russia and in Central Asia. Still, it’s hard not to conclude that Putin clipped his wings.