American lessor Air Lease says 21 jets remain stranded in Russia

Air Lease Corporation said it still has 21 jets stranded in Russia. The aircraft, which were leased to Russian carriers prior to international sanctions, remain in Russian territory even though all of the company’s aircraft leases, which represent a little more than 3.4% of its fleet by net book value, were terminated.  

The lessor did not specify the exact measures it has already taken to recover planes stranded in Russia. However, speaking to Reuters on April 12, 2022, Air Lease confirmed that, in line with EU and US sanctions requiring lessors to end leases on aircraft flying in Russia by March 28, 2022, it had cut ties with its Russian customers two weeks ago 

Earlier in March 2022, Air Lease raised fears of a mass default by jetliners as Russia implemented a new law allowing Russian airlines to place leased jets from foreign companies on the country’s plane register. 

Meanwhile, Irish lessor AerCap said that more than 100 of its aircraft are stranded in Russia.  

AerCap has leased a total of 135 planes and 14 engines to Russia, but only 22 aircraft and three engines have been returned. As a result, the leasing company has submitted an insurance claim for approximately $3.5 billion to cover the loss.  

As international sanctions were imposed on Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, AerCap became one of the worst affected companies, forced to suspend multiple leasing contracts with the country. Prior to the sanctions, lease agreements with Russia accounted for around 5% of AerCap’s fleet value.  

According to aviation consultancy firm IBA, Russian companies operate at least 589 aircraft affected by the sanctions, a fleet with an estimated worth of $10 billion. Many of those aircraft were registered in Bermuda, which suspended airworthiness certificates for Russian-operated aircraft on March 12, 2022. The update brings the total of air carriers banned from the European Union to 117 companies.  


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