The video, which is currently circulating on Twitter, does not bode well for the state of Russian aviation. It shows the cockpit of a 20-year-old Airbus A321 from the holiday airline Red Wings, apparently filmed by the co-pilot. This swings over various devices that have been marked with yellow stickers with the inscription "Inop".
The abbreviation stands for inoperative – i.e. non-functional. The co-pilot's screen is black, other control devices appear to be disrupted. No western airline pilot would take off in such a machine. But for the Russian colleagues this seems quite feasible.
The video is being used on social media as evidence that sanctions have shaken Russian aviation. The truth seems even worse. Because the recordings are actually a year old and show how precarious the situation was apparently even before the war.
"It is to be feared that the safety of Russian aircraft is now even worse," says Hamburg aviation expert Heinrich Großbongardt. Due to the sanctions, Airbus, Boeing and other important Western manufacturers have not been supplying spare parts to Russian airlines for more than six months. Software updates are also no longer carried out and maintenance contracts with companies such as Lufthansa Technik are also suspended.
Due to international isolation, Russia was forced weeks ago to shut down parts of its civilian fleet and dismantle the aircraft in order to get the necessary parts. Even brand new jets are said to have been cannibalized for this. However, experts do not believe that Russia could get very far with this practice.
Gerald Wissel of the aviation consultancy Airborne Consulting estimates that developing and building its own fleet of short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft would take around 50 years. The video, the authenticity of which cannot be verified, suggests that the problems may already have reached critical proportions.
The loss of a passenger plane, which has now been parked at Munich Airport for seven months, is likely to be all the more painful for the Russian airline Aeroflot. On February 27, the Airbus A320 with flight number SU2826 flew in from St. Petersburg on the Isar.
Shortly thereafter, German airspace was closed to Russian aircraft. The crew then left the Aeroflot machine on the airport apron and made their way home by unknown routes.
The machine has been in Munich ever since. So that the Airbus does not obstruct traffic, it was towed away and moved to another parking space in the eastern apron near Terminal 2.
There, in slot 327, the jet is now parked with the engines hung up as the seasons change. After the Easter and summer vacationers, it is now the Oktoberfest visitors who can catch a rare glimpse of a shiny silver aircraft from the Aeroflot fleet when they get off at the outside position.
The machine has not been entered by anyone for months, and maintenance work is also not being carried out, the airport explains on request. If not by Aeroflot, these would have to be arranged by the owner of the aircraft. The machine is registered with a leasing company called CMB Financial Leasing based in China. But they don't seem to have expressed any interest either, according to information from Munich Airport: "No one has contacted us so far."
Every day it becomes more expensive for the owner to pick up the aircraft in Munich. "Before the aircraft is allowed to taxi or take off, all outstanding accounts must be settled," clarifies an airport spokesman.
Parking at Munich Airport is also subject to a fee for aircraft. By the end of August, 64,000 euros had accrued in fees. Every two weeks, the airport sends a reminder to Aeroflot that an answer or even a transfer has not yet arrived. In the meantime, the parking ticket should have exceeded 70,000 euros.
Despite the shortage of spare parts and stranded machines, Russian airlines are trying to maintain something like normalcy in air traffic. From October, the Russian Nordwind Airlines will be flying to Cuba again.
In order to get there despite the airspace closures, the Boeing 777 jets have to fly a two-hour detour across the Norwegian Sea and head for the Caribbean at a great distance from the USA. A route guidance that would make you wish you had an airplane with all the devices working.
"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 7 a.m. with our financial journalists. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.