The Russian Interfax news agency cites three well-placed sources within the country's aviation industry that say the MAKS bi-annual airshow, which was first held in1993 and granted federal status in the mid-2000s, will be postponed for the second year in a row even though the cancellation has yet to be formally confirmed by the government or the organizing company Aviasalon JSC.

The event is held every two years and was programmed to have been held in July at the 2023 at the airfield of the MM Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky, 40 kilometers southeast of Moscow, was “postponed,” less than a month before the due date and rescheduled for the July 23-28, 2024. That was the first-ever cancellation of the event in 30 years that has been traditionally attended by President Vladimir Putin, other high-ranking officials and members of the Moscow elite.


The cause given for both cancellations was unspecified security reasons, but it is more than likely linked to the impact of international sanctions on Russia’s aviation industry. A source, said to be close to government, told the Vedomosti news site that “There was nothing and no one to show at the salon.” The source said foreign companies that were approached to participate did not “show a massive desire to participate,” while the import substitution projects planned by Russia’s domestic aviation industry “did not take off.”

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In the first half of 2023, factories only completed two civil aircraft to customers which, like all domestic production, were delivered months behind schedule.  Shortages of key components prevented production of major items particularly affecting new engine deliveries, which were unable to pass flight acceptance tests.

Despite this the Kremlin is still maintaining that by 2030 at least half of the commercial airlines’ fleets should be provided from domestic production according to the decree called “On National Development Goals,” which Putin signed on May 7 following his inauguration.


The plan within the decree calls for 120 civil aircraft to be built by 2026, a further 200 by 2008 and more than 230 by 20230. This despite the current blocking of Western technology because of sanctions which are likely to persist well into the near future.

Unbelievably the situation in respect of military aircraft may be even worse. The Moscow Times reported in November that Russia failed to secure a single contract for military aviation at the Dubai 2023 aerospace exhibition. By comparison 6 years earlier the Rostec state corporation signed orders for around $10 billion. In terms of export orders Russia has not only fallen behind the US but also France, South Korea, Italy, and China.

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