Billions of damage: Russia is said to have stolen hundreds of planes

Billions of damage
It is said that Russia stole hundreds of planes

In mid-March, President Putin enacted a law allowing Russian airlines to take foreign planes as their property. European aviation authorities are now reporting that rental companies are waiting to return the machines.

According to European aviation authorities, Russia has “stolen” several hundred aircraft since Western sanctions came into effect. Leasing companies will suffer billions of dollars in damage, according to a video conference by Eurocontrol, the European aviation safety organization.

According to the sanctions imposed by the European Union after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Russian airlines have until Monday to return the chartered planes. However, a law passed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 14 allows Russian airlines to register aircraft chartered abroad in Russia. This will allow domestic flights despite Western sanctions. However, in other countries, machines can be confiscated.

“Most of the aircraft they can use to travel abroad are leased machines of European or American origin that have now been stolen from their rightful owners, the leasing companies,” said Henrik Hololey, the European Commission’s transport official.

– Lease of 515 planes belonging to Russian Airlines

By allowing the planes into Russia, the authorities there “seriously violated international aviation laws and the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the so-called Chicago Convention,” Hololey said. “The Russians stole huge amounts of wealth,” said Eamon Brennan, director general of European Monitoring.

It was about ten billion euros in addition to the 500 planes that the Russians had seized and registered with, Brennan said. This creates a “very difficult situation” for European rental companies and insurance companies.

According to the Russian Ministry of Transport, as of March 11, Russian Airlines operated a total of 1,367 aircraft, of which 739 were registered, more than half of which were registered abroad. According to aviation analytics provider Cirium, 515 aircraft used by Russian Airlines have been leased. On March 14, 428 of them were in Russia or Belarus.

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