Will Russia Seize/Nationalise Leased Civil Airliners?

More than half of the Russian civil aviation fleet is leased, most from lessors in countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia which may make it impossible for Russia to meet the terms of the lease. Under the standard lease framework, lessors can repossess leased aircraft in violation of lease terms, and any Russian plane that lands in a country which is a party to the Cape Town Convention is vulnerable to seizure. Already Russia has restricted the use of leased aircraft on flights outside the country. As sanctions prevent making lease payments and performing required maintenance, might Russia nationalise the leased aircraft or seize them “for the duration”? What might this mean for the enormous global market in aircraft leases?

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