Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, announced on Friday that it has purchased eight Airbus A330 aircraft from foreign leasing companies. According to the Russian operator, these planes were purchased “as part of contractual responsibilities.”
Foreign leasing firms have been hit hard since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, as they have been unable to collect their stuck jets in Russia. In Russia, more than 400 aeroplanes leased from Western companies are currently grounded. These jets are worth about $10 billion each.
Aeroflot told Reuters on Friday that it has purchased eight Airbus A330 planes from foreign leasing companies. However, it did not say from which companies the planes were leased.
According to Reuters, the purchase could be motivated by a desire to keep excellent relations with lessors.
In the case of aircraft financing leasing, European Union sanctions on Russia are excluded. This exception pertains to lease termination purchases.
According to ch-aviation, Aeroflot has a fleet of 12 Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Vistavia Ireland DAC and Aviasky Ireland DAC own eight of these planes and have a financial lease deal with them.
A finance lease is one in which the bank (or its special purpose company) owns the aircraft and the airline makes regular lease payments to the bank until the whole sum is paid and the airline owns or has the option to purchase the aircraft.
GECAS also owns two other A330-300s, one operated by Goshawk and the other by AerCap. The latter is the only one that is not registered in Russia. Instead, it is registered as VQ-BMV in Bermuda.