Russia’s civil aviation regulator (Rosaviatsiya) has issued a recommendation to all carriers to avoid using aircraft leased from GTLK - State Transport Leasing on their international routes due to the risk of seizure, the Interfax newswire reported citing unnamed sources.

The advice is not directly due to international sanctions imposed on Russia and the state-owned lessor but rather due to ongoing bankruptcy proceedings against GTLK's Irish subsidiaries. The aircraft were attached in the ongoing proceedings and could be seized by creditors rather than by sanctions-enforcing authorities, the regulator cautioned.

The recommendation is not binding on the airlines.

GTLK Europe DAC and the related GTLK Europe Capital DAC are currently in liquidation. In August, the High Court of Ireland ruled that their assets should be held in a trust on behalf of non-Russian creditors and bondholders. The liquidation process is complicated by the asset freeze on GTLK property in the European Union.

The ch-aviation fleets ownership module shows that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, GTLK consolidated its assets in Russia. The lessor currently owns 114 aircraft, nearly all of them placed with customers in Russia (mainly Yamal Airlines and Aeroflot). The limited aircraft placed with customers abroad are currently all inactive due to the sanctions; this includes one A220-300 leased to Air Manas, three B777-300(ER)s leased to Bluebird Nordic, one A319-100 leased to Royal Jordanian, and one B747-8F leased to Silk Way West Airlines.