10 Mar 2022 08:44

Russian Transport Ministry proposes that foreign-made aircraft not be returned to lessors without govt commission's approval

MOSCOW. March 10 (Interfax) - The Russian Transport Ministry has drafted a government resolution, which will allow Russia to have a fleet of foreign-made aircraft despite the Western sanctions.

The draft (published on the regulation.gov.ru website) says the Government Commission on Import Substitution, led by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, will need to approve the return of an aircraft or an aircraft engine if a lessor ends a lease contract with an airline early and claims an aircraft or an engine back.

An airline may keep using an aircraft unless the return is approved by the government commission. The resolution allows an airline to make settlements with a lessor in rubles, while the aviation equipment will be serviced by "entities with a certificate of compliance with federal aviation regulations." The aircraft and engines will be insured and re-insured "by Russian insurance companies on terms equivalent to terms of the contract."

"The document is applicable to contracts concluded before February 24, 2022," the draft resolution says. Public hearings on the draft resolution will be conducted until March 23.

As reported earlier, sanctions imposed by the European Union on February 26 prohibit the delivery of civil aircraft and aircraft parts to Russia, as well as technical maintenance and insurance of such aircraft. Lessors are compelled to terminate current contracts with airlines by the end of March.

Most aircraft operated by Russian airlines are made abroad, primarily by Boeing and Airbus. Nearly all aircraft are registered in foreign jurisdictions, mostly in Bermuda. According to the Cirium consulting company, over half of aircraft are leased by foreign owners.