Russian freighter flew to US after BOC Aviation ordered to repossess

  • AirBridgeCargo had leased the Boeing 747-8
  • A freighter worth $148 million parked in Hong Kong
  • Two other freighters on lease from BOC Aviation still in Russia

March 30 (Reuters) – A Boeing (BA.N) 747-8 freighter that BOC Aviation Ltd (2588.HK) leased from Russian AirBridgeCargo flew from Hong Kong to California, according to FlightRadar24, after a U.S. judge ruled signed an order authorizing the lessor to repossess the aircraft.

The order was unsealed and made public on Tuesday, according to court documents. The plane arrived in the United States on March 25, the flight tracking service says.

BOC Aviation declined to comment and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Singapore-based BOC Aviation is one of several global aircraft lessors that had planes on lease with Russian airlines before sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine led to the cancellation of leases and insurance policies.

More than 400 leased planes worth nearly $10 billion remain in Russia despite Monday’s deadline for contract cancellations, although the Interfax news agency reported last week that 78 had been seized from the stranger. Read more

BOC Aviation said on March 10 that its 18 planes leased from Russian airlines had a book value of $935 million and could be affected by cancellations of insurance policies after Russia invaded Ukraine. Read more

In court documents filed March 14, the lessor sought orders that one of three 747-8 freighters leased from AirBridgeCargo that was in Hong Kong be picked up and transported to the United States for storage.

BOC Aviation said the plane was worth $148 million and AirBridgeCargo broke the leases of two other 747-8s when it brought the planes, which were in mainland China, back to Russia despite explicit instructions from the lessor to immobilize them on March 5 after the insurance. coverage has been cancelled.

One of the planes returned to Russia even after its certificate of airworthiness was suspended by Bermuda, the place of registration, BOC Aviation said.

Both of these freighters remain in Russia, according to data from FlightRadar24.

The Volga-Dnepr Group, owner of AirBridgeCargo, said on March 18 that it had grounded the subsidiary’s fleet of Boeing aircraft due to Western sanctions, according to media reports. Volga-Dnepr did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York

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