World’s largest leasing company battles insurers over aircraft stranded in Russia

Russian airlines have not returned more than a hundred aircraft to the lessor AerCap
Russian airlines have not returned more than a hundred aircraft to the lessor AerCap

AerCap’s lawsuit states that after the EU imposed sanctions against Russia for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the leasing company announced the termination of its leases with Russian firms, and asked Russian airlines to return the aircraft.

Read also: European Union to close air space to Russian planes — head of European Commission

Instead, the airlines simply re-registered the aircraft in Russia, and have continued to fly them. In total, Russian operators have effectively stolen 116 aircraft, and 23 spare aircraft engines, from AerCap alone.

AerCap filed a lawsuit at the High Court of London against a group of U.S. insurers led by AIG and European companies led by Lloyd's.

AIG insured the lessor's aircraft against all risks, except for military risks, while Lloyd’s underwrote war-related risks, for total coverage of $3.48 billion – war risks along account for $1.22 billion.

At the same time, the insurers led by AIG insist that the actions of Russian airlines "were done for political purposes,” thus negating the need for a payout.

Read also: Russia involving civilian pilots, personnel in war against Ukraine, says Ukrainian intelligence

Lloyd's insists that even if the court decides that the confiscation was part of an event covered by their policies, they will only be liable if the planes are destroyed.

According to the FT, in the coming months, there is likely to be a "wave" of insurance claims for assets stuck in Russia.

In June, the Washington Post reported that Russian airlines have refused to return more than 400 leased aircraft in total.

In mid-April this year, the European Commission put 20 Russian airlines on the air safety blacklist.

Read also: Russia’s largest air freight companies wind down amid harsh economic sanctions

As of mid-March, Russian airlines were able to operate flights to only eight countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, the UAE, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine