Irish lessors have terminated all Russian airline leases, says ALI

DUBLIN, March 28 (Reuters) - All Irish lessors terminated their Russian airline leases by Monday's European Union sanctions deadline and have so far had limited success in recovering their aircraft, the representative body for the sector in Ireland said.

Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI), members of which include SMBC Aviation Capital, Avolon, Aircastle and AerCap Holdings (AER.N), which is the world's biggest aircraft leasing company, said that all of its members have complied fully with the sanctions.

Brussels gave lessors until Monday to wind up current rental contracts in Russia under tough sanctions imposed after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, leaving them facing heavy potential writedowns or a long insurance battle.

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Irish lessors own more than 60% of the world's fleet of leased aircraft, according to its representative body.

"The events in Russia are unprecedented and continue to evolve," ALI's statement said.

It said that recent weeks have been challenging for aircraft leasing companies seeking to recover aircraft and that they had achieved "limited success to date".

AerCap, which has said that 5% of its fleet by net book value was leased in Russia at the end of 2021, had the largest exposure to Russia when the sanctions were introduced. When the sanctions were imposed, AerCap accounted for 142 of the 515 jets Russian carriers had leased from abroad, consultancy IBA said.

A total of 78 planes leased to Russian carriers had been seized while abroad and would not fly back to Russia, Interfax news agency reported last week, quoting Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev. read more

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Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by David Goodman

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