Aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital and Russian airline Aeroflot have reached an agreement over planes leased to the carrier.
According to a statement by SMBC Aviation Capital on October 2, 2023, the Ireland-based firm “received cash insurance settlement proceeds totaling approximately $710 million in respect of its aircraft previously leased to Aeroflot”.
SMBC Aviation Capital made the claims against Aeroflot’s insurance and reinsurance policies in relation to 16 aircraft and their associated engines, plus an additional insurance settlement for one aircraft and its associated engines managed by the lessor.
The statement by SMBC Aviation Capital confirmed that the settlement with NSK, a Russian insurance company, were carried out in full compliance with all “applicable laws, sanctions and regulations and have been approved by the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of the Treasury”.
SMBC Aviation Capital has declared that it will continue to actively pursue its litigation in the Irish courts under its own insurance policies, continuing its efforts to seek to mitigate its losses in respect of its aircraft that were previously leased to other Russian airlines.
On October 3, 2023, Aeroflot published its own statement in response to the development.
“In accordance with the agreements reached, the lessors terminated their claims to the Russian parties both under insurance policies issued by Russian insurance companies and under leasing agreements with PJSC Aeroflot,” the Russian airline said in a statement.
Aeroflot added: “The ownership of the aircraft was transferred to the LLC insurance company NSK, which paid the settlement amount. Aeroflot Group continues negotiations on the settlement of existing claims with other lessors of foreign-made aircraft.”
In September 2023, lessor AerCap announced it had received a cash settlement of $645 million for 17 aircraft and five engines leased to Aeroflot, including its subsidiary Rossiya Airlines.
Aircraft leased to Russian airlines became stranded in the country after Moscow refused to release them in the wake of Western sanctions.