US Commercial Plane, Leased to Russia, Repossessed and Flown Back to States

US Commercial Plane, Leased to Russia, Repossessed and Flown Back to States

( – The Russian war on Ukraine is causing rippling effects in numerous industries. Among them are aircraft cargo companies that do business with Russia but are affected by sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies. On Tuesday, March 29, officials unsealed a court order, revealing BOC Aviation’s Boeing 747-8 freighter plane, valued at $148 million, was repossessed and returned to the United States.

Popular flight tracking app FlightRadar24 tracked the plane, which BOC had leased to Russia’s AirBridgeCargo, from Hong Kong to California on March 25. The Singapore-based company leased American-made aircraft to Russian airlines before the imposition of US sanctions. Reuters reported over 400 leased planes, worth nearly $10 billion, are still in Russia, despite a deadline for contract cancellations due to insurance companies’ terminated liability policies.

As of March 10, BOC said its 18 planes on lease to Russia were worth $935 million. BOC said AirBridgeCargo breached leases on two other 747-8 planes. The company alleged the Russians flew the aircraft to China despite BOC’s explicit instructions to ground them after the cancellation of insurance policies on the aircraft on March 5. The Russian company even flew one of the planes back to Russia after Bermuda suspended its airworthiness certificate.

It’s unknown whether any other planes will be repossessed and returned to the US, or they will sit in Russia indefinitely.

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