A brand new Airbus A350 is on the ground and becomes a spare parts store: As experts have already suspected, Russian airlines such as the state-owned Aeroflot dismantle aircraft to get parts.
Four industry insiders told the Reuters news agency.
With the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia about six months ago because of the Ukraine war, the supply of technology dried up.
The Russian government recommended in June that planes be cannibalized for spare parts so that foreign-built jets - primarily from Boeing and Airbus - can remain in service until 2025.
In addition to a long-haul A350 jet, Aeroflot also has a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100 on the ground, said a person familiar with the process.
Because here, too, there is a lot of technology from the West.
Aeroflot did not want to comment on this when asked.
The newer aircraft generations such as the A320neo or the A350 from Airbus as well as the 737 MAX and the 787 from Boeing have to be constantly updated to the latest technical standards.
According to experts from the West, keeping the jets airworthy will be a challenge even for savvy Russian engineers if the sanctions remain in force for more than a year.
No spare parts via third countries
Because even detours via countries that have not imposed sanctions on Russia are cut off.
Companies from Asia and the Middle East would have to fear secondary sanctions from the West if they supplied parts from Airbus or Boeing to Russia.
Each part is registered with a number, the end user must be reported to the manufacturer.
"If the documents show a Russian airline as the end customer, no one would agree to a delivery - neither China nor Dubai," said an insider.
80 percent of the fleet of the largest Russian airline Aeroflot consists of machines from the two western aircraft manufacturers.
At the end of last year, Aeroflot counted 134 Boeing and 146 Airbus planes, as well as almost 80 Russian Sukhoi Superjet-100s.
According to more recent data from the Flightradar24 portal, 50 aircraft or 15 percent of the fleet have recently stopped taking off, especially since some machines were stranded abroad.
According to the government plan, two out of three aircraft from abroad should remain operational by using spare parts from the decommissioned machines.
The biggest challenge will be keeping the engines and electronics functional, said Oleg Panteleyev, head of the aviation think tank Aviaport.
"It will be difficult to repair."