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Ireland-based aircraft lessor AerCap has lodged an insurance claim of $3.5bn for more than 100 aeroplanes that are trapped in Russia following the country’s military attack on Ukraine, Reuters reported.
AerCap is said to have leased 135 aircraft and 14 engines to Russia but has so far only been successful in recovering 22 aircraft and three engines.
In a statement, Aercap said: “In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the US, European Union (EU), the UK and other countries have imposed broad, far-reaching sanctions against Russia, certain Russian persons and certain activities involving Russia or Russian persons.
“As of December 31, 2021, approximately 5% of AerCap’s fleet by net book value was on lease to Russian airlines. We continue to make efforts to repossess additional aircraft and engines from our former Russian airline customers, but it is unclear if we will be able to do so, or what the condition of these assets will be at the time of repossession.
“We expect to recognise an impairment on our assets in Russia that have not been returned to us as early as the first quarter of 2022, although we have not determined the amount of any impairment.”
The Dublin-based lessor is said to have been more affected than other lessors after EU sanctions forced European lessors to terminate their lease agreements with Russia.
Lessors are seeking compensation for planes worth $10bn that are held up in Russia, with the insurance claim made by AerCap said to be the largest. Earlier this week, aircraft leasing firm Avolon also cast doubt over its future business with Russia and accused Russia of ‘robbery’ after the government confiscated several leased planes.