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Aircraft lessors sue insurers for $6.5 billion over trapped planes


(Reuters) — Aircraft leasing companies are suing dozens of insurers for around $6.5 billion in a string of lawsuits over the loss of hundreds of aircraft stuck in Russia since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

More than 400 leased planes worth around $10 billion are unable to leave Russia after European Union sanctions forced the termination of their leases.

Lessors argue the aircraft are covered by policies against war or theft, but insurers point out the planes are undamaged and might yet be returned.

Here is a list of claims filed against insurers in London, Dublin and the United States, with the most recent filing listed first.

Irish-based lessor CDB Aviation, owned by the China Development Bank, filed a claim in the Irish High Court against 18 insurers on Nov. 15 over jets stuck in Russia. CDB Aviation recognized a 747 million yuan ($104 million) asset write-down in August but said this was not the full value of the jets.

BOC Aviation has begun legal action against 16 insurers, according to an Irish High Court filing on Nov 3. Singapore-based BOC recognized an $804 million asset write-down in August related to the 17 aircraft it owns that remain in Russia, saying it was unlikely to be able to recover the jets “in the foreseeable future, if ever.”

Avolon is taking legal action against 15 insurers in the Irish High court, a filing showed on Nov. 3, after the aircraft lessor recorded a first-quarter impairment of $304 million to cover the financial impact of having 10 jets stuck in Russia.

Aircastle filed a claim against more than 30 insurers with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in late October over nine aircraft and other equipment stranded in Russia. Aircastle said earlier this year it had booked $252 million in impairment losses for the jets.

Carlyle Aviation Partners filed a $700 million claim in Miami-Dade County, Florida, against more than 30 insurers that declined to pay out over 23 aircraft stuck in Russia, it said in late October.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise filed a London lawsuit against 11 insurers, including Lloyd’s of London, American International Group, Chubb and Swiss Re in October, two months after it wrote off almost $600 million for 19 aircraft stuck in Russia.

Aviator Capital brought a $147 million claim against Chubb, Hive Underwriters, HDI Global and a dozen Lloyd's of London syndicates in a Florida court in August for failing to pay out on claims for four commercial aircraft and three engines leased to Russian airlines.

Aercap filed a $3.5 billion London lawsuit against AIG and Lloyd’s in June over 141 aircraft and 29 aircraft engines owned by Aercap and on lease to Russian airlines.