Aircraft rental companies could lose hundreds of planes stranded in Russia

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Aircraft lessors have until March 28 to get their planes out of Russia, but analysts say they could be “gone forever”.

However, Russian authorities and carriers are not making it easy. So far, lessors have only repossessed 24 of the more than 500 Airbus and Boeing planes leased in the country, according to Valkyrie BTO Aviation general counsel Dean Gerber, Bloomberg reported.

Since the sanctions took effect, analysts had expected that donors would face problems getting their planes out of Russia due to airspace restrictions creating logistical challenges and pushbacks from Russia. Russian authorities. According to aviation consultancy IBA, Dublin-based leasing company AerCap has Russia’s largest fleet with 152 planes worth nearly $2.5 billion.

According to aviation consultancy Ishka, around $10.3 billion worth of planes may not make it out of Russia.

“The main fear right now is that these planes will disappear forever,” Steve Giordano, managing director of Nomadic Aviation Group, which specializes in plane trade-ins, told Bloomberg.

Leaving donor planes grounded in Russia could lead Russian airlines to “cannibalize” the jets, that is, take parts to use on other planes currently in service. Carriers may resort to this strategy due to sanctions prohibiting Boeing and Airbus from sending spare parts to the country.

Without the supplies, the planes could go without the repairs needed to keep them airworthy, forcing Russian companies to take planes from lessors, buy uncertified parts from China or find parts in crummy inventory. from Iran.

“Lenders may end up having to cancel,” Agency Partners analyst Nick Cunningham told Bloomberg.

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