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Sanctions cut off access to parts and technology for key upkeep, raising concerns over safety.

Russia has limited access to parts, software and technical skills needed to carry out critical maintenance due on hundreds of commercial jets, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, raising safety concerns among industry executives and regulators.

In the days after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, many Western countries closed airspace to Russian jets. The U.S. and Europe also slapped the country with a series of sanctions and export controls that have blocked parts, services and other technology from being provided to the country’s fleet of commercial airliners.

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Western officials said they specifically targeted the sector—a key pillar of Russia’s economy that is profoundly dependent on Western assistance. But Russian airlines have kept flying, carrying some 95 million passengers last year amid buoyant demand for domestic flights.

Boeing Co. BA 1.64%increase; green up pointing triangle and Airbus SE planes comprise about 77% of Russia’s fleet of 696 in-service aircraft. In December, Russia’s central bank said Western aircraft carry 97% of all Russian passenger traffic.

Excerpt from WSJ
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