Putin Signs Law Allowing Russian Air Carriers to Seize Western Jets Worth $10B


The Russian government wants to allow for the repurposing of more than 500 jets for domestic travel.

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With the Russian invasion of Ukraine now about to enter its third week, cascading impacts across global commerce are cropping up by the day. This trend continued Monday, as state-owned media agency TASS reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order allowing for the seizure of over 500 commercial jets that Russian airlines have leased from Western companies. It is an unprecedented move for the global aviation industry.

The law comes after a period where the future of the jets was unclear. With many countries banning flights from Russia, including the entirety of the European Union and the United States, many Western aircraft leasing firms sought to repossess the jets, with the EU providing a March 28 deadline to any European firms to recover their property. Russia’s airlines reportedly operate 728 Western-made aircraft in total, and it’s believed that 515 aren’t owned by these air carriers—instead, they are leased from other companies. The foreign airplanes are primarily made by either Boeing (332 total planes) or Airbus (304 total planes), and both companies have announced they will not be supplying parts or technical support to Russian carriers until further notice. Now, the Russian government has allowed domestic airliners to keep the planes—valued at a cumulative $10 billion dollars—and break lease agreements.


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