Russia completes buyouts of 92 foreign-owned planes

(Reuters) – Russia has bought out another 92 planes from foreign leasing companies, airlines and aircraft leasing company AerCap said.

The planes have been bought out using money from Russia’s National Welfare Fund, 190 billion roubles ($2.06 billion) of which has been allocated for the purpose.

Ownership will now pass to Russia’s state insurance company NLK-Finance, which will transfer them to the airlines.

Airline S7 said 45 of its formerly foreign-owned planes had been bought out, while national flag carrier Aeroflot said deals had been completed for 28 of its aircraft, with another 19 for Ural Airlines.

After Western countries sanctioned Russian airlines over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia re-registered foreign aircraft in its fleet without the owners’ consent, before beginning negotiations on buying them out.

Once foreign-owned planes are bought out, Russian airlines are able to use them to service overseas routes without risk of them being seized.

($1 = 92.1205 roubles)

(Writing by Felix Light; Editing by Alexander Smith)