Oct 9 (Reuters) – Russia’s Ural Airlines, which was forced into an emergency landing of an Airbus (AIR.PA) jet in a wheat field last month, plans for it to take off from the same field in Siberia following repairs, as Russia grapples with an aircraft shortage.
It is the second time the airline has been forced to make an emergency landing in a field after an Airbus A321 landed on agricultural land in 2019, but it will be the first-time pilots try to fly the plane out again, amid Ukraine-related sanctions.
The Airbus A320 which had been flying from Sochi to Omsk with 167 people on board, landed safely in the field in western Siberia’s Novosibirsk region on Sept. 12. Ural Airlines said a hydraulics fault was to blame.
“According to the preliminary technical assessment of specialists, the aircraft is in good condition,” Ural Airlines said in a statement. “The plane is not seriously damaged and will probably be able carry out flights in the future.
“Several options are being considered for the plane taking off from the field,” Ural said, such as the plane’s seats being removed to make the aircraft lighter.
The West banned supplies of aircraft and spare parts soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, making Western aircraft that were already in Russia a precious resource.
Ural and other Russian airlines have kept their fleet of Western jets in the air, importing spare parts via third countries without the manufacturers’ – mainly Airbus and Boeing (BA.N) – consent.
Some airlines have stripped planes for parts, aviation industry sources told Reuters last year.
Ural said the plane would stay in the field for several months, under guard, while inspections, maintenance and repairs are…