Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot has purchased 10 stranded Boeing 777 jets from Irish aircraft leasing companies.
The Moscow-based airline recently acquired the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, “which have been under financial lease from an Irish leasing company since 2013 and 2014,” Aeroflot revealed in a statement seen by Russian state-owned news agency TASS on December 30, 2022.
“Aeroflot will continue to work on further implementation of transactions for the purchase of aircraft in order to maintain the current fleet of foreign-made aircraft in operation and expand the possibility of their operation. This approach also confirms the reliability of Aeroflot as a counterparty that responsibly fulfills its contractual obligations,” the air carrier was cited as explaining.
Aeroflot made a similar purchase in May 2022, buying eight Airbus A330 widebodies, which were also leased from Western companies. The planes had been stranded in Russia following international sanctions imposed on the country’s aviation industry due to its invasion of Ukraine.
Although Aeroflot has not specified which lessors were involved in the recent acquisition, the air carrier confirmed in its statement that the transaction was completed following “all the required permits from Russian and foreign regulators”.
However, it remains to be seen whether by selling the aircraft to the major Russian airline the lessors have violated the European Union’s restrictive measures in view of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
According to Planespotters.com data, Aeroflot currently operates a mixed fleet consisting of 173 planes as of January 3, 2023. The airline has 22 Boeing 777-300ERs, the majority of which are marked as leased from Russian state-owned lessors VEB Leasing and GTLK.