Dubai-based airplane lessor unsure about receiving planes back from Russia

Major airplane lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said on Thursday it didn’t know if it would ever get back 19 jets leased in Russia after Moscow passed a law allowing for hundreds of jets to be seized in response to Western sanctions.

The Dubai state-owned lessor reiterated that it had written off $576.5 million for the planes and filed insurance claims to recover amounts due. It had previously said it had filed insurance claims of $1 billion, while noting the amount could increase.

Sanctions imposed by Western countries after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced lessors to terminate contracts with Russian airlines. Moscow retaliated by barring leased jets from being repossessed, though some airlines have since returned some aircraft.

Dubai Aerospace said it had terminated contracts on 22 aircraft leased to Russian airlines in compliance with sanctions and that it had no control over 19 jets that were currently in Russia.

“The Group is unable to determine whether these aircraft will be returned at any point in the future,” it said in its half-year report.

It was not immediately clear what type of aircraft were in Russia.

In March Dubai Aerospace said that aircraft leased in Russia accounted for 7 percent of its leased aircraft fleet by net book value.

The lessor said it lost $397.8 million in the first half of this year, compared to a $49 million profit a year ago.

Before exceptional items, it said it made a profit of $140.1 million. Revenue was $582.8 million, down from $613.4 million a year ago, in part due to the termination of Russian leases.

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