Russia plans to manufacture unauthorized and unapproved spare parts for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, as their supply lines have been cut by economic sanctions. This could further deteriorate the value of leased western aircraft operating in Russia, as the use of unauthorized Russian spares would render the aircraft not airworthy in western countries.
The Russian aviation authority, Rostaviatsia, has issued developer certificates to five companies that authorize them to perform modification, certification of minor changes, and issuance of technical documentation, including approval of repair documentation and changes. The five companies include the State Civil Aviation Research Institute, S7 Technics, the Ural Civil Aviation plant, Aviation Engineering Solutions, and the Navigator Institute of Aeronautical Instrumentation. This certification will enable them to manufacture Russian spares. However, those spares would not be recognized as airworthy outside Russia.
Currently, India and Turkey are the only two major providers of aircraft spares to Russia, and under the sanctions provisions, Airbus and Boeing are likely to closely examine and restrict those sources of spares as their inventories deplete. As a result, Russia needs to develop its own sources for spares or find that aircraft will be grounded.
Unfortunately for aircraft lessors who own these aircraft, the use of unauthorized and unapproved spares will result in the loss of a certificate of airworthiness and result in economic damage through lower aircraft values. As a result, any hope of a full recovery of the value of the aircraft post the Ukrainian conflict has now taken another blow.
Given the severity of the sanctions and re-registration of foreign aircraft under Russian registration, this is a logical next step for Russia, which needs to keep its western aircraft flying with Russian spares. While today most of the discussion has centered on interior seating and galley products, the prospect of unapproved safety of flight parts looms, especially given the specialties of some of the approved players.
The question for down the road, once the conflict is settled and sanctions are lifted is whether a gray market for parts will emerge with Russian spares and false documentation. Time will tell, but this development likely means that sanctions and counteractions will likely be here for quite a while, and we may not see an end to economic turbulence immediately once the conflict is resolved.