DALLAS – A Boeing 747-8F leased to Russia’s AirBridgeCargo (RU) flew to California after a US judge approved an order authorizing lessor BOC Aviation to reclaim it.
According to court documents, the order was unsealed and made public on Tuesday. The Boeing freighter arrived in the United States from Hong Kong on March 25, according to the flight tracking website FlightRadar24. According to its owner, the Boeing 747-8F is worth US$148m.
According to uk.investing.com, BOC Aviation claimed on March 10 that its 18 planes leased to Russian airlines had a book value of US$935m and that insurance policy cancellations could damage their worth. The lessor then requested in court documents filed on March 14 that one of three Boeing 747-8F leased to RU in Hong Kong be repossessed and transported to the US for storage.
The Asian leasing company claimed that RU had broken leases on two other Boeing 747-8s by flying them back to Russia despite the lessor’s specific instructions to halt them on March 5, when insurance coverage was canceled. According to FlightRadar24 data, these two freighters remain in Russia.
According to BOC Aviation, one of the jumbo jets returned to Russia despite the fact that its airworthiness certificate had been suspended by Bermuda, the place of its registry.
300+ Leased Aircraft Still in Russia
Despite a Monday deadline for contract cancellations, more than 400 leased jets worth over US$10bn remain in Russia. However, the Interfax news agency reported last week that 78 aircraft had been taken abroad.
Two weeks ago, Silk Way West Airlines (7L) repossessed and transferred two Boeing 747-400(FSCD) formerly operated by Sky Gates Airlines (U3), registering the types in Azerbaijan.
BOC Aviation, based in Singapore, is one of many global aircraft lessors that had jets on lease to Russian airlines until sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted leases and insurance policies to be canceled.
AirBridgeCargo Airlines, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, is the largest Russian cargo airline. Until recently, it operated scheduled cargo services on routes between Russia, Asia, Europe and North America, covering more than 30 destinations worldwide.
Featured image: Air Bridge Cargo Boeing 747-8F. Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways