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IconApril 12th, 2024
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Ilyushin Finance Takes Airbus to Court in Moscow Over A220 Deposits

In a significant legal dispute within the aviation industry, Ilyushin Finance Co., a prominent Russian aircraft lessor, has initiated legal proceedings against Airbus in Moscow. This contentious legal action revolves around deposits made by Ilyushin Finance for Airbus A220 aircraft. The outcome of this case could have notable implications for both parties and the broader commercial aviation sector.

The Dispute Unveiled

Ilyushin Finance Co., historically recognized for its involvement in leasing Russian-made aircraft, expanded its portfolio by placing orders for Western-manufactured jets, including the Airbus A220. This twin-engine narrow-body aircraft, developed by the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier (later Airbus Canada), gained attention for its fuel efficiency and modern design. In 2019, Ilyushin Finance ordered 20 Airbus A220 jets, demonstrating its strategic shift towards diversification. However, as the aviation industry faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ilyushin Finance reconsidered its fleet plans. The lessor began to question the viability of the A220 order amid changing market dynamics and operational requirements.

Deposit Dispute

Central to the legal conflict is the issue of deposits made by Ilyushin Finance to secure the Airbus A220 order. These deposits, customary in commercial aviation transactions, are significant sums intended to secure the manufacturing slots and delivery positions of the ordered aircraft. Ilyushin Finance alleges that Airbus has failed to return these deposits despite the lessor’s decision to cancel or revise its A220 order. Airbus, on the other hand, maintains that the deposits are non-refundable, citing contractual terms and industry practices.

Legal Action in Moscow

To address this impasse, Ilyushin Finance has resorted to legal action within the Moscow courts. By pursuing litigation on its home turf, Ilyushin Finance seeks to leverage domestic legal processes and regulations in its favor. The Moscow court proceedings will scrutinize the contractual obligations and terms agreed upon by both parties. The outcome will determine whether Airbus is obligated to refund the deposits to Ilyushin Finance, or whether the aircraft lessor will have to absorb the financial impact of the canceled A220 order.

Implications for the Aviation Industry

This legal confrontation underscores the complexities and financial stakes involved in aircraft procurement and leasing agreements. The outcome could set a precedent for future disputes between lessors and manufacturers within the aviation sector. For Airbus, a ruling in favor of Ilyushin Finance could lead to potential financial liabilities and a reevaluation of its deposit policies. Conversely, a decision supporting Airbus could reinforce existing industry norms regarding non-refundable deposits.


The legal clash between Ilyushin Finance and Airbus over A220 deposits represents a notable chapter in the evolving dynamics of the aviation industry. As both parties await the Moscow court’s decision, the broader industry will closely monitor this case for its implications on contractual practices, financial risk management, and the commercial viability of aircraft orders amid global market uncertainties. The resolution of this dispute will undoubtedly shape future negotiations and agreements within the aviation supply chain.

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