Purchasing power of airlines

There are just over a month and a half left until the leasing contracts for aircraft owned by Western owners expire. Currently, we are talking about less than a hundred aircraft for which carriers have been able to agree on the cost and conditions of insurance settlement.
In the spring of 2022, after the introduction of sanctions, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation calculated that the residual value of foreign aircraft in Russian airlines is approximately $20 billion. According to estimates provided by Reuters in July, more than 40 leasing companies are in dispute with insurers over 400 aircraft belonging to Russian airlines, with a total value of up to $10 billion.
Tamrin Darbakov, a junior аssociate at UPPERCASE LEGAL, commented to Kommersant newspaper on the prospects of purchasing Western aircraft in the face of a shortage of time and money. According to Tamrin, similar lawsuits filed by companies such as AerCap Holdings NV, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd, and KDAC Aircraft Trading are likely to be consolidated. "Conducting simultaneous legal proceedings, in our opinion, will help avoid duplication and save time," he says.

Compensation for the "damage" caused to aircraft owners should be made from Russian assets abroad - this will actualize the processes of determining it, believes Tamrin Darbakov, noting that "Russian organizations have tried to limit the disclosure of their assets outside of Russia as much as possible."

Several financial companies have already expressed their intention to finance insurance lawsuits against Russia and Russian airlines, which characterizes the "prospects of recovering damages and fines from Russian taxpayers as high." At the same time, the question of the prospects for recovering the amount of claims from the Russian side in the current geopolitical situation is complex and unpredictable, agrees the lawyer. The resolution of the issue now depends not only on international legal norms and agreements but also on the political situation between countries.

Leaseholders in a foreign court or international arbitration convincingly refer to provisions of lease agreements that release them from liability for breaching obligations due to coercive actions by government authorities, according to Tamrin Darbakov.

The presence of special accounts and reserves for "leasing payments" can play a positive role in the dispute resolution process, Tamrin notes. However, he emphasizes that the final decision will be made by the court based on the evidence presented and applicable legislation.
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