VEB Leasing is seeking buyers for 22 Boeing 737 MAX and 20 Airbus A320neo narrow-bodies, originally ordered for the Russian Transaero Airlines that ceased operations in October 2015. As delivery dates for the aircraft approach, the lessor needs to find customers for the aircraft soon, or face huge losses.

Russia’s VEB Leasing – one of the largest leasing companies in the country, and part of VEB group (Russian State Development Bank) – signed contracts with the now defunct Transaero for the purchase of 22 B737 MAX and 20 A320neo a few years ago. The company will take delivery of the first two B737 MAX in late 2018, while the first A320neo is expected to be delivered in 2019.

As the Russian newspaper Vedomosti notes, pre-delivery payments which amount to around $240 million were already made by VEB Leasing on all 42 ordered aircraft, which is at least 10 percent of the purchase price, but can reach 15-20 percent, industry specialists say. 

According to the newspaper, the market price (half of the catalog price) of an A320 neo is about $56 million; the B737 MAX is valued at $58.5 million. Based on pricing of each aircraft, the total amount of the transaction could turn out to be approximately $2.4 billion. Also, manufacturers are likely to demand compensation for losses they would incur in the resale of these aircraft.

Back in June 2017, VEB Leasing announced an order for CFM International produced LEAP-1A engines to power the 20 A320neos. The leasing company also placed firm orders for LEAP-1B engines for the 22 B737 MAX aircraft, Russian Aviation Insider reported at the time. CFM International valued these two orders at more than $1.2 billion list price.

In Russia, the only airline that operates the A320neo is the S7, also known as Siberian Airlines. The carrier will also be the first to take delivery of the B737 MAX in 2018.