Russia will not return more than 400 leased aircraft leased by Russian airlines. These companies are not allowed to cooperate with Russian airlines due to Western sanctions.
Leasing companies, which lease their passenger planes, have no hope of regaining their Russian-based planes. With Western sanctions against Russia, these companies were forced to terminate their contracts with Russian airlines by Monday (March 28, 2022). Although the measures were announced about a month ago, Russian Airlines has not yet returned the leased aircraft.
“I’m afraid we will see the biggest plane crash in the history of civil aviation,” said Volodymyr Bilotkach, a professor of air traffic management at the Singapore Institute of Technology.
Henrik Hololai, director general of the European Commission for Transport, also said that the leased planes, which remained in Russia, had been “stolen from their rightful owners”. According to him, a large part of the total of more than 400 aircraft, worth about ten billion dollars, will probably be lost.
Russia, in response to Western sanctions, has quickly established a legal basis to prevent the forced cessation of the use of these aircraft by Russian airlines. Leased aircraft were re-registered in Russia in order to maintain the necessary safety certificates, which is not allowed under international law. Holloway called the move a serious violation of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. The Russian government says it has more than half of its 515 leased aircraft on its list.
Although authorities in Bermuda and Ireland have suspended the airworthiness certificates of leased aircraft, which are in fact not allowed to fly, the majority of these aircraft are used for domestic flights in Russia, and flights between The international is paralyzed with them, because as soon as the leased planes land outside, there is a possibility of confiscation. The European Commission has tracked all aircraft leaving Russia and is working with relevant authorities to confiscate them. “We have been very successful in recovering such aircraft,” Hololai told a webinar hosted by the European Union’s aviation authority, Eurocontrol. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, 78 leased aircraft were confiscated outside Russia last week.
But who is responsible for paying the damages? Although these planes are insured, experts estimate that leasing or leasing companies may spend many years in the courts seeking compensation from insurance companies due to the enormous damages. The damage is estimated at $ 11 billion. Even if the leased aircraft are returned after a period of time, there is still doubt about their value, as records of regular technical inspection and the use of main fins to repair them must first be traced. Sending the main parts for Airbus and Boeing aircraft to Russia also includes the list of EU sanctions against Russia.
According to Brad Daley, an Alton executive, the consequences for individual leasing companies are not such as to paralyze their operations, as they lease less than 10 percent of their aircraft to Russian airlines. . He added that, unlike the commercial aviation labor market in Russia, it will suffer in the future because the credibility of Russian companies at the international level will be damaged.
Some Russian private airlines have said they want to return leased aircraft, but such a move must be approved by the Russian government.