What Fate Awaits Russian-owned Aircraft Impounded in the UK and Europe?

Published on 29th March 2022

Riding on the back of sanctions directly linked to the war in Ukraine, and imposed on the Russian government, Russian businesses, and Russian individuals, many private business jets owned by Russians have been impounded in the EU and the UK. The situation comes as a precedent for international aviation with the big question being asked, what will happen to these impounded private aircraft?

Several scenarios could play out regarding their future ownership; the aircraft could be nationalised with an option for their purchase on the open market, without the involvement of their Russian owners. However, buying the aircraft will come with many caveats due to sanctions, company KYC (Know Your Customer) policies, and as a matter of principle.

Another option on the table is that the aircraft could also be dismantled with their parts being salvaged to service an already under-pressure private jet spare parts industry. Following directly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic there is a severe shortage of newer business jets for sale, a factor that is heavily influencing second-hand aircraft prices, and the spare parts marketplace.

One thing is sure, should the aircraft become available on the open market again, there will be a need for experienced MRO companies to step in and provide their services as part of the PPI (pre-purchase inspections) process.

According to Vytis Zalimas, CEO at JETMS Group, a family member of the Avia Solutions Group, “The value and benefits offered by a PPI are essential for the successful sale of any second-hand aircraft, and we at JETMS and JETMS Completions are ready and fully-equipped to conduct all of the necessary checks required to ensure a satisfactory and successful sales transaction is conducted.”

The CEO adds, “No stone is left unturned, from document and aircraft records due-diligence, airframe reviews, functional airframe systems checks, avionics and electronics checks, full exterior paint jobs and artisan interior upgrades, JETMS and JETMS Completions have the experience and the expertise to guarantee a timely turnaround from our European bases in London’s Biggin Hill Airport and the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.”

Both branches of the company are fully equipped with all of the expert capabilities for both PPIs and to offer full aircraft refurbishment services. While the whole situation remains up in the air, companies like JETMS and their subsidiary are already active in their preparations for any eventual outcome to this contentious situation.

At present, international aviation authorities and government institutions are doing their best to bring more clarity to the situation.

By Zydrune Budnike

Communications Project Manager, Avia Solutions Group.

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