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Flight Disruptions in Kamchatka as Russian Sanctions Impede Czech Aircraft Operations

As of September 1st, 2023, flights on Czech-made L-410 aircraft have been forcibly suspended in Russia’s Kamchatka Krai due to a shortage of spare parts, which Russian airlines are unable to obtain due to sanctions.

This announcement came from the local government’s press service and was confirmed by the Far East-based airline “Aurora,” as reported by RBC.

Kamchatka has become the second Russian region to halt the operation of these aircraft involuntarily. Earlier in 2023, the company “Komiaviatrans” in the Komi Republic ceased using L-410 planes due to sanctions and a shortage of spare parts.

According to Rosaviatsia (Federal Air Transport Agency), there are currently seven commercial operators of L-410 aircraft in Russia. These include “Siberian Light Aviation,” “Khabarovsk Airlines,” “2nd Arkhangelsk Unified Aviation Group,” “Polar Airlines,” “Gazpromavia,” “Aeroservice,” and “KrasAvia.” In total, these airlines have 28 such aircraft in their fleets. Additionally, four L-410 planes are used by the Ulyanovsk Civil Aviation Institute for training purposes.

As of the summer of 2023, L-410 aircraft were operating flights to five remote and sparsely populated locations in the Kamchatka Krai, where access is challenging due to the absence of railways and roads.

The suspension of L-410 operations in Kamchatka is attributed to the “exhaustion of resources” (the inability to operate them further according to regulations) of certain components and units, according to a representative from the Kamchatka authorities, who did not provide further details. The official acknowledged that spare parts could not be purchased through third countries using the “parallel import” scheme.

These developments underscore the impact of sanctions on Russia’s aviation industry and its regional connectivity. The cessation of L-410 flights to remote areas can pose logistical challenges for communities and businesses dependent on these services.

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