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How many aircraft are being illegally re-registered by Russian airlines?

We take a look at how many aircraft have been re-registered in Russia to circumvent sanctions on Russian aviation.

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As part of ongoing sanctions on Russian aviation following the invasion of Ukraine, authorities in Bermuda and Ireland have acted to suspend airworthiness certificates for leased jets operating in Russia. The Russian Federation responded on March 14th to suspend bilateral agreements with these jurisdictions in order to transfer aircraft onto the Russian registry.


These actions taken by Russian authorities violate international law, which states that it is illegal to re-register an aircraft without first obtaining proof of deregistration from the previous registry (as well as with the express permission of their owner).


This presents a dilemma for Russian airlines - do they ground their entire fleets due to a lack of safety certification, or forcibly re-register their aircraft to continue domestic operations, risking permanently poisoning relationships with their foreign lessors?


As the war in Ukraine enters its eighth week, we have been actively tracking re-registration activity in Russia and the in-service fleets of Russian Airlines.


Our insight indicates a surge of nearly 150 re-registrations recorded between 13th March and 18th March - part of an increasing overall trend since the start of March.


Aviation Intelligence from IBA InsightIQ reveals that of 976 Russian passenger and freighter aircraft in service, 205 aircraft were on the Russian register. The Russian register has now been bolstered by an additional 360 aircraft, with a notable number of those appearing soon after the re-registration law came into effect in Russia on March 14th.


IBA's flight data reveals that approximately 75% of these re-registered aircraft were active as of the third week of April 2022.



Which aircraft leasing companies are most effected by re-registrations?


Our intelligence indicates 171 of these re-registered aircraft belong to non-Russian lessors. The most effected lessors by number of aircraft are listed below.

  • AerCap - 49 aircraft

  • Air Lease Corporation - 13 aircraft

  • SMBC Aviation Capital - 12 aircraft

  • Carlyle Aviation Management - 10 aircraft.


Which Russian airlines are operating illegally re-registered aircraft?

  • Ural Airlines - 52 cases

  • Nordwind Airlines - 23 cases

  • Rossiya - 14 cases

  • Smartavia - 13 cases

  • Aeroflot 12 cases



We continue to monitor the Ukraine Crisis and its unfolding effects on global commercial aviation. For further insight, feel free to contact us to speak to one of IBA's experts.


IBA's InsightIQ analysis platform flexibly illustrates multiple asset, fleet and market positions, actual and potential, to inform client choices and identify acquisition opportunities. Immediate access to crucial aircraft, engine, lease rate and fleet data eases appreciation of historic and future aircraft concentrations and operator profiles.


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