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Plane stranded in Russia: Carlyle sues its insurers

Written November 1, 2022, 6:12 p.m

Carlyle Aviation Partners, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing operators, is seeking $700 million from a dozen of its insurers and reinsurers, including American International Group UK, Chubb European Group SE and Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance Ltd.

The operator accuses them of not indemnifying it for the losses resulting from the seizure of aircraft leased by Russian airlines after the invasion of Ukraine.

Government restrictions

In a complaint filed Monday, Oct. 31, in a Miami state court, Carlyle Aviation Partners explains that it has leased 23 planes to Russian airlines. He then attempted to recover the devices at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

But on February 27, the Russian airlines leasing the planes informed him that they could not take the planes out of the country due to instructions and restrictions from the Russian government.

“Defendants failed to keep their end of the bargain,” Carlyle Aviation said in its claim of breach of contract and breach of good faith obligations. According to the operator, it had no choice but to take these legal steps because it had “exhausted all options” to salvage the planes and had not been compensated as required.

Insurance policy obligations

“We have complied with all the obligations of the insurance policy designed precisely for this type of risk in this situation,” the company said.

In other similar cases, insurers had argued that the planes, which are generally still in service in Russia, were not lost.

Carlyle Aviation Partners, part of investment firm Carlyle Group, is one of many lessors fighting to recover planes leased from Russian airlines before Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

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