Aviation sanctions could send shockwaves through entire transit system across Russia's 11 time zones

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Saturday, March 5, 2022
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Many nations around the world have banned Russian airlines from flying over their airspace and landing at their airports. Those sanctions could have another impact that could soon paralyze travel across Russia.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Many nations around the world have banned Russian airlines from flying over their airspace and landing at their airports. Those sanctions could have another impact that could soon paralyze travel across Russia.

Operating a modern airport like Los Angeles International Airport is much like conducting a symphony, there is so much coordination and scheduling that goes into making air travel work. With the world sanctioning Russia's airlines, that symphony, or travel, across 11 times zones in Russia could soon be grounded.

Massive economic sanctions have already kept Russian airliners from flying over the European Union and into North America. However, Russian airlines are still flying freely across all 11 time zones inside of Russia, but even those flights could soon be grounded.

Aeroflot, Russia's largest airline, was removed from the global reservation system that powers every major travel booking website on Thursday, crippling the company's ability to sell seats.

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As for the actual airplanes, very few of them are actually owned by Russia. Most are leased from western aviation companies. Those leases could soon be terminated and the planes recalled.

Also, the bulk of Russian passenger planes are manufactured by Boeing and Airbus, which are powered by Rolls-Royce and General Electric jet engines.

With sanctions in place, these western aviation companies will no longer provide parts, service or technical assistance to Russian airlines, so when a Russian airliner has any kind of mechanical or avionics issue, there will be no parts to import or any help in fixing it, essentially grounding the aircraft.

Some airline analysts say it could be just a matter of weeks until air travel across Russia becomes nearly impossible.

Those 11 Russian time zones suddenly become much larger when people are forced to travel by train, bus or car.

Some aviation analysts say it's very probable that Russian President Vladimir Putin will order Russian airlines to not return any leased planes currently parked in Russian territory to their owners.