Russian govt allocates about 300 bln rubles to purchase aircraft from foreign lessors - Savelyev
MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - The Russian government has allocated about 300 billion rubles in order to purchase the aircraft of Russian airlines from the foreign lessors, Transportation Minister Vitaly Savelyev said on Wednesday at an expanded meeting of the State Duma transportation committee.
"We are trying to purchase the aircraft from the foreign lessors; we understand the issue well; and the government has already allocated about 300 billion rubles," Savelyev said.
Aeroflot has already used some of the funds in order to purchase 10 long-haul aircraft, Savelyev said.
Aeroflot reported last year that it had purchased eight long-haul Airbus A330s and 10 Boeing 777s from the foreign lessors, all of which the airline was operating under financial leasing permitted as per Western sanctions. The group operates the remaining aircraft in its fleet under operating lease agreements.
Following the start of the events in Ukraine, Western countries halted deliveries of civil aircraft and spare parts to the Russian Federation, and required their lessors to return from Russia the aircraft already under lease. However, the Russian authorities issued a decision by which the airlines did not return the aircraft, instead transferring said aircraft to the domestic registry and continuing to operate them.
The residual value of the over 500 aircraft remaining in Russia that are leased from foreign entities is estimated at $20 billion, Savelyev said in March last year.