Russian lessor demands money from Airbus for 4 undelivered A350s

Russian lessor demands money from Airbus for 4 undelivered A350s

Russian leasing company Aviacapital Service (AKS) said it would continue its lawsuit against Airbus despite the aircraft manufacturer returning nearly $200 million in advance to Aeroflot. for four undelivered A350s. The lessor is seeking the return of another $5.1 million in advance payments given to Airbus for future aircraft deliveries. 

Aviacapital Service, a subsidiary of the state-owned corporation Rostec, filed a lawsuit against Airbus with the Moscow Arbitration Court on December 13 last year demanding the return of $5.1 million in advances paid to the aircraft manufacturer. Despite the fact that Airbus returned nearly $200 million in advance payments to AKS client Aeroflot, the lessor does not intend to withdraw the claim.

According to Aviacapital Service, “the returned advances were intended for Aeroflot.” As for the second lawsuit, it does not apply to relations between Aeroflot; and Airbus, but only on the relationship between AKS and Airbus, and therefore the claim will not be withdrawn.

Earlier, Russian media reported that Airbus returned to Aeroflot $199 million associated with four A350s. Western economic sanctions ban local firms from doing business with Russian companies, but refunds have been allowed even though these sanctions are still in place.

This was announced to journalists by the General Director of Aeroflot Sergei Aleksandrovsky at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “Last year we did this kind of work – quite intense and interesting – with Airbus. As a result, we were able to agree on all terms, and in December 2022 we received a $199 million refund from Airbus for four A350s. Oddly enough, despite the sanctions restrictions, we were able to reach an agreement.

Back in 2007, Aeroflot placed an order for 22 A350-900 aircraft, of which seven were delivered between 2020 and 2022. Sanctions imposed because of the events in Ukraine have made it difficult to maintain Western-made aircraft, and Aeroflot I even had to send my planes to Iran for the next MOT.

Aeroflot plans to reduce the number of dual-registration foreign aircraft in its fleet as part of a global plan to buy aircraft from lessors. The carrier reportedly operates more than 160 dual-registration aircraft, most of which are operated by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA). If Aeroflot manages to reduce the dual-registration fleet, this will open up more opportunities for the carrier for international flights.

The problem is that the lease agreements were terminated unilaterally by foreign partners. Today, this is a key obstacle to the withdrawal of the fleet from foreign registries.

Since last year, airlines in Russia have re-registered more than 360 aircraft. According to experts, this practice does not always comply with previously adopted international aviation standards, but the re-registration of aircraft in Russia allowed carriers to continue their operation.

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