Canadian lessor caught in Russia’s confiscation of hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft

CALGARY, ALBERTA — The Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft of Canada's Calgary-based lessor Avmax and hundreds of other aircraft have been reregistered in Russia, which industry observers say is a move by Russian President Vladimir Putin to seize billions of dollars in aircraft.


The Dash 8-400s' owner, Avmax Aircraft Leasing, assumes the planes are gone for good.“We are treating it as a loss and we’ve informed our insurance company to that effect,” said Bruce Nysetvold, senior legal counsel at Avmax, which leases about 100 aircraft to operators in Europe, Africa, South America, the United States, Canada and elsewhere. Aurora Airline, a subsidiary of Russian government-owned Aeroflot, leases two Dash 8s from Avmax.

Dash 8-400 rolled out of the hangar at Bombardier Aerospace’s plant in Toronto and made its maiden flight from the Downsview Airport in the spring of 1997. The turboprop regional airliner spent years flying passengers in China, Western Canada, and eastern Siberia. Now, the plane and its Canadian owner have been swept up in the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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