Putin = War Criminal
- Apr 18, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Russia moves to seize hundreds of leased aircraft
Russian president Vladimir Putin has moved to effectively seize hundreds of aircraft currently operated by Russian carriers from foreign lessors.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has moved to effectively seize hundreds of aircraft currently operated by Russian carriers from foreign lessors. Putin on 14 March signed a law that allows the jets to be registered in Russia, in essence confiscating them from their overseas owners, retaliating against sanctions imposed by Western countries as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost three weeks ago. Some 515 commercial aircraft leased from foreign companies are operated in Russia, with an indicative value of $10 billion, according to German-based credit rating agency Scope Ratings. Close to half of the aircraft are supplied by Irish-based lessors. Although European Union sanctions require termination of leases and repossession of aircraft by the end of March, Scope argues that it is “unrealistic” for lessors to achieve this within a month – particularly given that, even under normal circumstances, repossessions from Russia could take up to six months.
Over the weekend, Bermuda’s civil aviation regulator suspended all certificates of airworthiness of aircraft operating in Russia under the bilateral agreement between the two sides. The suspension entered effect just before 13 March. Large numbers of civil aircraft operating in Russia for some of that country’s largest operators – Aeroflot, Pobeda, S7 Airlines, and Ural Airlines – are held on the Bermuda registry, and the bilateral ICAO agreement means Bermuda is responsible for airworthiness approval. Dublin-based AerCap has by far and away the largest exposure to the Russian market, with 146 jets on lease to carriers in the country, followed by SMBC Aviation Capital (35, plus one managed aircraft), and Air Lease (31). Other lessors in the top 10 include BOC Aviation, Carlyle Aviation Partners, Dubai Aviation Capital and Avolon.
Not a good move by Putin. If sanctions are ever lifted, these aircraft leasing companies will think once, twice, and thrice about puting themselves in the position where Putin can again just steal their planes.