Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the GlobalData Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has purchased eight stranded Airbus A330 planes from foreign leasing firms in order to meet contractual norms, Reuters reported.

The Russian national carrier did not provide details on the lessors of the aircraft.

With this move, Russia aims to re-establish good relations with the lessors, by utilising an exemption to European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia regarding air carrier financial leases that allows the purchase of aircraft when the lease ends.

According to the exemption, released on 8 April, EU authorities can allow ‘the execution of an aircraft financial lease concluded before 26 February 2022’ as long as it is ‘strictly necessary to ensure lease repayments and no payment is done beyond the aircraft transfer.

Leasing companies ended their contracts with Russia after the country was subject to Western sanctions for its military offensive against Ukraine. In a retaliatory move, Russia prohibited its airlines from returning the aircraft.

In March, the Russian Government passed a new law on leased jets, which allowed the country’s airlines to register aircraft leased from foreign companies.

As a result of this, more than 400 aircraft, worth nearly $10bn, have been stranded in Russia.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Aeroflot has reportedly resumed operations to the Maldives.

The flight operations were previously suspended in the wake of sanctions imposed on Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. Earlier this month, Aeroflot also resumed its flight operations between Russia and India, following a two-month hiatus.