April 28. Just days after Putin invaded Ukraine, European sanctions on Russia saw lessors scrambling to retrieve some 500 planes from the country, worth an estimated $10 billion. Some were already overseas, making it a little easier to secure the aircraft. What came next was almost unbelievable.
Within hours, Putin ordered the western-owned planes in Russia to remain there, and to place them on the Russian registry. This effectively blocked them from being repossessed. Speaking on today’s Eurocontrol Hard Talk session, Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery didn’t mince his words when it came to his take on the situation there,
This theft of $10 billion worth of leased planes was described by Jon Ostrower of The Air Current as ‘the largest single civil fleet destruction activity in the history of aviation.’
In the short term, the insurance firms may pick up the tab for the losses incurred by these lessors. in the longer term, it will inevitably have knock-on consequences for the wider aviation market. And it’s likely to affect the airlines operating in places where they can least afford it.
Source: Simple Flying