International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) is preparing to ground five Airbus narrowbody and widebody aircraft, as early as tomorrow, from Russian airline Vladivostok Avia for its failure to pay in excess of $5 million in overdue lease payments, sources familiar with the situation said.
The move would likely lead to flight disruptions and stranded passengers as a result of the aircraft groundings, said sources.
ILFC slapped default notices on the carrier on 21 December after debt due from Vladivostok Avia started drastically increasing in November, sources said. In that same month, Aeroflot acquired a 52.1% majority stake in the carrier along with five other airlines from state corporation Rostekhnologi.
Aeroflot has since announced plans to streamline the group's fleets and cut operating costs in an effort to consolidate Russia's airline sector.
Neither ILFC nor Vladivostok Avia was immediately available for comment.
Vladivostok Avia operates seven Airbus A320-200 and three A330-300, along with 6 Tupolev Tu-204s and two Yakovlev Yak-40s.