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Russia’s Aircraft Need Maintenance They Can No Longer Get

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.

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Boeing Sticks With Financial Outlook After Latest 737 MAX Problem

Plane maker posts 28% jump in first-quarter revenue, smaller net loss.

Boeing Co. BA 1.81%increase; green up pointing triangle said a new production problem expected to delay deliveries of its 737 jets to airlines this summer won’t disrupt the plane maker’s overall financial outlook for the year.

The Arlington, Va., aerospace company said Wednesday revenue rose 28% to $17.9 billion in the first quarter from the same period the previous year, beating analysts’ estimates. Boeing said it delivered 130 commercial aircraft in the three months ended March 31 as demand for new airliners remained robust.

Despite the emergence this month of a supplier’s 737 manufacturing slip-up, the company said Wednesday it plans to increase production of the narrow-body jets to 38 a month later this year, up from the current rate of 31.

Shares in Boeing rose 84 cents to $203.03 each on Wednesday, while broader U.S. stock indexes were mixed.

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Boeing has said the new manufacturing problem, related to certain fittings at the rear of the planes’ fuselage, will delay a number of deliveries of 737s in coming months. Airline and airplane-leasing customers tend to pay most of planes’ purchase price at delivery.

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Airline Recovery Boosts Jet Engine Makers

GE and Pratt & Whitney deliveries surge as travel rebounds and airlines prep for busy summer

General Electric’s aero-engine models on display at an exhibit in Shanghai late last year. GE, helped by growing engine deliveries, recorded sales and profits that beat expectations. PHOTO: CFOTO/ZUMA PRESS

Global airline passenger traffic this year is set to surpass 2019 levels despite recessionary fears, providing a boon for jet-engine makers.

General Electric Co. and Raytheon Technologies Corp., RTX 1.98%increase; green up pointing triangle the two biggest makers of plane engines, on Tuesday disclosed stronger quarterly financial results, reflecting the continued recovery in air travel and China’s relaxation of pandemic-driven restrictions.

Airlines preparing for a busy summer travel season are driving sales of spare parts at GE GE 1.53%increase; green up pointing triangle, Raytheon and other suppliers. Aircraft manufacturers Boeing Co. BA 1.75%increase; green up pointing triangle and Airbus SE are also delivering more jets following a surge in orders. Boeing reports quarterly results Wednesday.

“The recovery has strengthened as the world is eager to travel,” said GE Chief Executive Larry Culp on an investor call Tuesday.

Global air passenger traffic climbed 70% last year as more countries lifted restrictions, and big domestic markets such as the U.S. experienced a surge in business that left airlines and airports struggling to keep up. The rise in airfares driven by demand and higher fuel prices isn’t cooling growth, especially in regions such as Asia where traffic has been slower to improve.

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Airlines Get Ready for Busy Summer as Travel Ramps Up

American, Southwest project busy travel season after winter slowdown

Airlines say that travel demand is picking up heading into the critical summer travel season, fueling their expectations for profits after what was in some cases a more lackluster winter.

Southwest Airlines Co. decrease; red down pointing triangle reported a quarterly loss of $159 million as the impact of the airline’s winter meltdown bled into the first months of the year. The airline said it saw a $325 million hit to revenue due to cancellations of “holiday return travel” and slower bookings in January and February but said bookings turned around by March.

Over the winter holidays, storms overwhelmed Southwest’s operation and crew-rescheduling software couldn’t keep pace to reset the airline.

American Airlines Group Inc. increase; green up pointing triangle reported a profit of $10 million on record first-quarter revenue of $12.2 billion.

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Several rivals posted losses during the first quarter, which is typically the weakest time of year for airlines. Lucrative corporate travel, which has yet to return to prepandemic levels, didn’t fill in for the typical drop-off in vacation travel after the winter holidays. At the same time, carriers grappled with higher costs for fuel.

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