Airlines in Russia have reached out to AerCap to explore “potential insurance settlements” related to the lessor’s 116 aircraft stranded there when the country invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Separately, one of the insurance firms the Dublin-based lessor is fighting in a lawsuit to seek recompense for the losses has told a court that it is not liable for them.

AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly acknowledged during an earnings call that his company had been approached by Russian carriers and their own insurance companies in an effort to seek compromise. But he admitted that it was unclear how such a deal could be reached, given that international sanctions against Russia would mean a proposal would need European Union and United States approval.

During the call, an investment analyst asked about “a recent article” speculating that AerCap had been “in discussion with a Russian airline to purchase planes at a discounted price” and asked for comment on that and on whether any such deal is “even possible” due to the sanctions.

Kelly responded: “As you know, we are pursuing insurance claims against our own insurers and against the Russian airlines’ insurers and re-insurers. We have been approached by some Russian airlines and their insurers about potential insurance settlements involving some of our aircraft lost in Russia. However, it is too early to know whether anything will come out of it and we have nothing further to say on it at this stage.” He did not elaborate further.

Like other lessors impacted by the conflict, AerCap is in the process of suing its insurance companies for the loss of the aircraft, claiming it is due USD3.5 billion under an all risks policy or USD1.2 billion under a war risks policy if the larger claim fails. In January, it emerged that the Irish arm of Fidelis Insurance Group had joined fellow insurers AIG and Lloyd’s as a defendant in the lawsuit being contested at the High Court of Justice in London.

On March 7, the news site The Insurer reported that Fidelis had told the High Court that it was not liable for the losses AerCap had incurred, arguing in a defence filing to the court that the insurance policies had not yet been triggered as the stranded aircraft do not at this stage represent a “total loss” of the assets.