The tail number of the A320 is YU-APH. The aircraft has flown millions of miles for several airlines before being taken over by Air Serbia.
For eight years, YU-APH flew without problems, until it landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport. It was going to take off again at a later time after it had flown in from Serbia. There was a problem, the pilot had reported a problem with the plane's engine. According to reports, the supplier of the broken part refused to fix it because of the sanctions against Russia. The plane wasn't moving. The company did not respond to the request.It took six days for the problem to be fixed and the A320 to depart Moscow for Belgrade. Air Serbia also did not respond to a request for comment about how the engine casing was replaced or fixed and who manufactured the part. YU-APH managed to remedy its fault, but there are increasing international concerns that planes flying into, from, and around Russia could become a safety risk as sanctions prevent them from being maintained properly. Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency, said at a recent conference that he felt the situation was “very unsafe.” “In six months—who knows? In one year—who knows?” he said. Advertisement
The number of aircraft in the Russian commercial jet fleet decreased from February to May. The spare parts supplied to Russian airlines by Boeing and Airbus were stopped in order to adhere to sanctions. Bijan Vasigh is an economics professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Any part or technical expertise can't be transferred to Russia. There is a problem with aircraft needing constant maintenance.
Planes are complicated with many parts coming together to keep passengers in the air. Some parts need to be changed frequently because of the high stakes of flight. It is a challenge to bring a heavy metal tube to a halt in a plane. The tires are among the hardest-hit parts of a plane, burning rubber as the brakes are applied, with puffs of smoke coming from wheels, and lots of slick, black trails left on the tarmac. Every 120 to 400 landings the tires are changed. The wheels need to be swapped out every three months for internal flights. The Russian market was not supplied by Boeing for over a year. The next day, it followed. The wheels are going to wear down according to Max Jones. There is a risk that they can't source replacement tires.