Moscow: Russian government has decided to seize several hundred commercial jets owned by leasing companies from the US and Europe, CNN reported on Thursday.
The report further said that the Russian move was a sign of the challenges the country’s airline industry has been facing which in the coming days was going to get even more severe due to the sanctions imposed on the country following its invasion of Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin signed a law as part of the government’s anti-sanction measures that will allow Russian airlines to register planes leased from foreign companies, where they will be issued local certificates of airworthiness, a statement from the Kremlin said.
Through this bill Russian airlines will be able to keep their foreign leased aircraft and operate the planes on domestic routes, while making it harder for foreign companies to reclaim their jets without the approval of the Russian government.
Under the sanctions imposed by US and European leasing companies on Russia require them to repossess all planes they leased to Russian airlines by the end of the month. Aircraft makers like Airbus (EADSF) and Boeing (BA) have already cut off Russian airlines’ from accessing spare parts needed to maintain and safely fly their jets.
Russian airlines operate 305 Airbus jets and 332 Boeing jets, according to data provided by aviation analytics firm Cirium. Russia also has 83 regional jets made by Western manufacturers such as Bombardier, Embraer and ATR. Only 144 planes in the active fleets of Russian airlines were built in Russia.