Russia's flag carrier overcomes sanctions with in-country landing gear replacement.

Key Points:

  • 18 months post-Western sanctions that prohibited export of aircraft spare parts to Russia, Aeroflot managed an in-country landing gear replacement.

  • Aeroflot Technics, the MRO subsidiary of the airline, successfully carried out the replacement at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.

  • Aeroflot's in-house overhaul comes after non-public data highlighted the airline's import of parts worth $47 million since the start of the year.

MOSCOW — Aeroflot, Russia's national airline, announced on Aug. 9 that it had achieved a significant milestone. Despite Western sanctions that halted the export of aircraft spare parts to Russia for the past 18 months, the airline's MRO division, Aeroflot Technics, effectively replaced the landing gear legs on a Boeing 777-300ER, marking the first such in-house procedure for this type of aircraft.

The overhaul, executed at Aeroflot Technics’ facility located within Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, saw the MRO team fitting a complete set of new landing gear legs: one for the nose and a pair for the main landing apparatus. The airline assured that every step of the process was executed adhering strictly to the maintenance guide. It is noteworthy that the gear legs for the 777-300ERs are recommended for replacement every decade or after every 20,000 flight cycles.

The Boeing in question is now fully operational, having re-joined the fleet. Currently, Aeroflot has a total of 20 operational 777-300ERs, but data from Flightradar24 indicates another two have been grounded for over half a year. Interestingly, the airline acquired ten of these aircraft from an undisclosed Irish lessor in December 2022 through a financial lease buyout.

Aeroflot has remained tight-lipped about the origin of the new 14-ft.-long landing gear legs. However, an investigative report by Russian media outlet Verstka, which examined nonpublic customs records, unveiled that Aeroflot imported a whopping $47 million worth of aircraft components this year alone—surpassing all other Russian airlines. This cache contained Boeing parts priced at $2.5 million, Honeywell components worth $7.5 million, and parts priced at $4.5 million each from Woodward and Safran Nacelles. These components were traced back to firms located in China and the UAE.

Earlier in March, Aeroflot Technics disclosed information about a similar landing gear leg replacement, but this time, for three Airbus A330s from the main Aeroflot fleet.