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March 30, 2022

Avolon raises concerns on future business with Russia

Avolon had 14 planes leased to Russian companies and was able to recover only four.

Aircraft-leasing company Avolon has expressed concerns over its future business with Russian airline companies after the Russian Government seized several leased planes, CNBC reported.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a new law that allowed the nation’s airline companies to register aircraft leased from foreign firms and continue operating them domestically.

The bill was a retaliatory move against sanctions imposed on Russia by the West for its invasion of Ukraine.

President Putin’s decision further increased uncertainties for foreign lessors, who have $10bn worth of jets leased with Russia.

Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery said that the move has dented the company’s relationship with the country.

Avolon is said to have leased 14 of its planes to Russian companies, and so far, was able to recover only four of them.

Slattery was further quoted by the news agency as saying: “We try every day, but as of today [there is] zero chance of getting those back right now.

“It’s just robbery. They’ve stolen the airplanes. It’s incomprehensible. It will be a very, very long time, if ever, that we would have an appetite for incremental exposure in Russia again.”

Avolon’s CEO further stated that the crisis would have an impact on the insurance market and could increase costs.

Other Western aircraft-leasing companies have tried to recover their aircraft from Russia, but only a few were returned by Russian airline companies.

In another development, Turkish aviation conglomerate Gözen Holding and the owner of Freebird Airlines agreed to buy or lease up to 50 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon.

This agreement also includes the provision to purchase or lease another 50 aircraft.

The two parties have entered a strategic alliance to develop an urban air mobility (UAM) platform in Turkey, with an aim to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL travel. 

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